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Sometime Assistant in Ancient History ^ Cornell University 

University Pdlow in Ancient History 

Instructor in History, Columhia University 



Faculty of Poutical Science 
Columbia University 














Ancient Hellas was a land of small city-states, each 
with its own political systems, its own economic interests, 
its own social customs, and often its own dialect. The high- 
est aim of the citizen was to possess that patriotism which 
subordinated all to the service of the state, which used every 
talent for its glorification and which handed down the 
fatherland greater and better than it had been handed down 
to him. Out of such ideals came that keen rivalry which 
produced the finest works of Hellenic culture. But from it 
also came devastating wars and the downfall of its very 
products, Hellenic freedom and civilization. 

In the early period of Greek history wars were of fre- 
quent, almost annual, occurrence; and warfare became a nat- 
ural part of the citizen's existence with careful rules and reg- 
ulations — almost a sport. The great Persian war in the first 
half of the fifth century B. C, however, brought home to the 
Greeks most clearly the advantages and the disadvantages 
of war. With the wars between Athens and Sparta and the 
long and wearisome series of struggles for supremacy which 
followed in the fourth century, there came a realization of 
the ruinous effects of strife, which led in turn to the growth 
of a strong peace movement and to a variety of attempts to 
solve the problem of inter-Hellenic relations. The develop- 
ment of a desire for peace, with an appreciation of its bene- 
fits, along with suggestions for its perpetuation, found ex- 
pression in the productions of the writers of Hellas. In the 
history of their age lay the background on which their ideas 
were founded and the methods which were developed to 
carry them into execution. 

399] 5 

6 PREFACE [400 

Much has been done in the study of the international law 
and practice of the Greeks from the institutional point of 
view. For this the reader is referred to Phillipson, Inter- 
national Law and Customs of Ancient Greece and Rome 
(London, 191 1); Raeder, U Arbitrage International chez 
les HelUnes (New York, 1912) ; Tod, Greek International 
Arbitration (Oxford, 1913). On their conclusions that part 
of this study which deals with those topics is based. The 
purpose of this work, however, is to study rather the ideas 
than the institutions of the Greeks and to examine the re- 
sults of their efforts to secure peace among themselves. For 
this it is necessary to review the historical background and 
to examine the attitude of the writers toward the general 
topic of war and peace. This study terminates with the 
end of the classic period. Consideration of the conceptions 
of peace in the Hellenistic Age is reserved for a future 



Preface 5 


TifE Epic Age 

1. Minoan Civilization 9 

2. The Mycenaean Period ii 

3. The Invasions *. ^ 14 

4. The World of Homer 15 

5. The Homeric Attitude toward Peace and War 20 

6. Peace and War in the Epic Cycle • 35 

7. The Views of Hesiod. 36 


The Early Period of the City- State 

1. The Growth of the City-state 38 

2. Causes of Disunion 38 

3. Elements of Union 39 

4. Life and Literature in the Asiatic Cities 51 

5. The Asiatic Cities at War with Lydia and Persia 57 

6. Cultural Conditions in Sparta 59 

7. The Significance of Theognis of Megara 62 

8. The Development of Athens 63 

9. The Greeks of Sicily and Italy 65 


I. The Persian Wars and Hellenic Peace 

1. Historical Survey of the Period 490-461 B. C (i^ 

2. Peace and War in Literature * 70 

a. Aeschylus 71 

b. Bacchylides «... 76 

c. Pindar 'jj 

d. Heraclitus 79 

401] 7 

8 CONTENTS [402 


II. The Age of Pericles 

1. Athens and Sparta, 461-431 B. C 80 

2. The Attitude of Sophocles 84 

3. The Views of Herodotus 85 


The Peloponnesian War 

1. The Causes of the War and the Failure of Arbitration 87 

2. The Events of the War and their Effects 91 

3. Aristophanes and the Peace Party 99 

4. Thucydides and the War 100 

5. The Attitude of Euripides 103 


The Fourth Century 

1. Wars and Peace, 404-338 B. C 108 

2. War and Peacfe in Fourth-Century Literature 125 

a. Xenophon . . ' 125 

b. Demosthenes 127 

c. Socrates 127 

d. Plato . . - 127 

e. Aristotle 130 

f. Isocrates 131 

3. Conclusion 138 

The Epic Age 

The earliest expression of thought known to us from 
the ancient Hellenes is to be found in the epic poets of the 
Middle Age: Homer, the writers of the Epic Cycle, and 
Hesiod. Many diverse elements, however, go to make up 
the ideas and pictures of the poems, the traditions of earlier 
days, the character of the incoming northerner, the society 
in which the poets lived, and above all the depth of their 
understanding of life and its emotions. One may single 
out material things and claim from archaeological evi- 
dence that they belonged to earlier days; one may place 
political and social institutions in the time of the poets with 
some security. It is a much more difficult, in many respects 
an impossible, task to treat the expression of ideas in this 
fashion. One may only endeavor to point out something of 
that which preceded the poets and venture to draw conclu- 
sions with reserve. 

Far in the background of the poems lay the civilization 
known as the ^gean, and divided usually into the Minoan 
and Mycenean periods. The ^gean basin was inhabited 
from neolithic times, probably by members of the Mediter- 
ranean race. With the introduction of bronze, civilization 
developed among them rapidly until it reached its culmina- 
tion in the splendor of the Minoan Age, the center of which 
was the city of Cnossus on the island of Crete, where Minos 
traditionally held sway and whence he extended his con- 
quests and spread his culture. Legend records that he was 
the first to drive pirates from the sea and to establish peace 
403] 9 


pushed down into Thessaly on the one side, and entered 
Thrace and crossed the Hellespont into the Troad and 
Phrygia on the other. In the course of the first half of 
the second millennium they penetrated farther south into 
Greece, blending doubtless with the earlier inhabitants 
whom they found there. Among these people Minoan cul- 
ture began to develop afresh. The gradual nature of the 
infiltration and the blending of the peoples facilitated the 
process. Thessaly, in a continuous turmoil from fresh in- 
vasions, and backward in civilization, acted as a buffer, and 
protected and made possible the southern development.^ 

At strategic points which controlled trade routes or in 
fertile valleys were built the fortress cities of the new- 
comer, possibly under Minoan control, as the Attic legend 
indicates, but surely under Minoan influence. The plain of 
Messene, the valley of the Eurotas, the Argive plain with its 
roads to the isthmus, the isthmus of Corinth itself, the val- 
leys of Attica and the fertile land of Boeotia were the cen- 
ters of these new people. Possibly some of the cities were 
earlier Minoan foundations into which the invader came 
through invitation to aid in defense or through marriage 
into the ruling family. In any case commerce with Crete, 
and doubtless also the presence of Minoan artist and archi- 
tect, brought the influence of the older civilization strongly 
to bear and produced the legendary Heroic Age of Greece. 
The northerner took over the material civilization of the 
southerner, his pictures, furniture, jewelry, and personal 
adornments, his gold and silver work, but preserved his own 
northern type of dwelling with its central hearth. Neces- 
sity here compelled the erection of huge fortresses, and 
there arose the mighty walls and elaborate defenses so 

1 For the invasions cf. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte (2nd ed. 
Strassburg, 1912) , vol. i, pp. 67, et seq. On the condition of Thessaly, cf, 
Wace and Thompson, Prehistoric Thessaly (Cambridge, 1912). 

407] ^^^ ^p^^ ^^^ 13 

familiar at Mycenae and Tiryns. War was a natural part 
of life, and hence played a larger part in art than among 
the Cretans. Warriors and the siege of cities appear on 
vases, and the shield symbol of the war god was a favorite 
mural decoration. The warrior adopted Minoan methods 
of warfare, the chariot and the huge shield, and to his own 
barbaric character he added the refinements of Minoan 
brutality. The use of the poisoned arrow, the heartless 
treatment of the conquered foe, the maltreatment of the 
enemy's corpse, the human sacrifice to appease the dead, are 
features which are characteristic of most peoples in the 
stage of civilization known as the Heroic Age.^ 

With new conditions all ties of kindred and tribe were 
broken and strong monarchies were developed. Bound by 
bonds of equal rank and common military necessity, royal 
families kept closely in touch with one another. Visits were 
frequent between them, and marriages bound them together. 
Traditions recorded these things and indicated that the 
ruler of Mycenae was overlord of all, strong enough to call 
on all for their services and to obtain them. A more gen- 
eral feeling of unity and good-will appears to have pre- 
vailed then than at any later period in the history of Hellas, 
the indications of which appear in the later legends of the 
Trojan and Theban wars. Under such conditions of life 
there developed the art of epic poetry, when court poets 
recited the glorious deeds of the warriors and the splendors 
of life in the court.^ 

1 Cf. Chadwick, H. M., The Heroic Age (Cambridge, 1912) , p. 462. 

2 This description of the Heroic Age is based in general on Chad- 
wide, op. cit.y and on Leaf, Homer and History (London, 1915). On 
the Mycenean origins of the epics cf. Evans, A. J., "The Minoan and 
Mycenaean Elements in Hellenic Life " in the Journal of Hellenic Studies, 
32 (1912) ; Meillet, Apergu d'une histoire de la langue grecque (Paris, 

1913), pp. 193-4. 


With strength came expansion. Marauding bands occu- 
pied the islands of the -^gean. The Cretans, excluded 
from those waters, turned to other regions and appeared in 
Spain, in Sicily, in Cyprus and in Palestine. Internal dis- 
ease of convention and caste had prepared the way, and 
when plunderers brought catastrophe the end was swift. 
Minos became a name and the power of Cnossus a tradi- 
tion embodied in the court poetry to be handed down to 
future ages. The pirates reached even to the shores of 
the Nile delta in their wanderings, while on the north a 
wealthy settlement on the hill of Hissarlik in the Troad was 
destroyed. Egyptian inscriptions record that the isles of the 
sea were in confusion. 

In the twelfth century new elements appeared in fresh 
invasions from the northwest. The old cities on the main- 
land fell a prey to the invader and the older settlers 
were pushed out to seek homes beyond the sea. Save in 
mountainous Arcadia and barren Attica, all was confusion. 
The people were migratory, either looking for better lands 
for themselves or pushed out by new tribes seeking their 
lands. Maintenance was all they sought from the soil. 
Fortifications were either unnecessary or impossible. The 
tribes were war-loving and sought subsistence rather by 
plunder than by work. Robbery on land and piracy by sea 
were freely practised, and regarded as no disgrace. All 
men went armed and were quick to resent the least slight 
with combat.^ Thucydides' description of the early days 
of Hellas has been accepted as a picture of the conditions 
which put an end to Mycenean culture and plunged Greece 
into its Middle Age. Early and late comers mingled and 
pushed on. Crete became a land of many cities and men, 
with confusion of tongues. Cyprus received a colony of 
the earlier peoples. The islands of the ^Egean were popu- 

1 Thucydides, i, i, 2. 

409] ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ 15 

lated, old foundations on the Anatolian coast were increased 
in size and new ones were founded. In general the move- 
ments took parallel lines, the Thessalians occupying the 
northern islands and the region called -^olis, the lonians, 
the central position, with the Dorians to the south. A large 
amount of fusion followed, both among themselves and 
with the old inhabitants of their new homes. 

As the movements gradually died down and times of 
comparative peace returned, civilization began to build 
afresh. In the south where the centers of Mycenean or 
Minoan influence had been, culture appeared first in a nucleus 
of Minoan ideas, while to the north the civilization of the 
newcomer was predominant. One thing all treasured in 
common — the epic poetry which told of the traditions of for- 
mer glory. These, reflecting sometimes the language, more 
often the material customs and glories of Mycenean courts, 
were sung by bards throughout the new settlements on the 
mainland of Greece and in ^olis and Ionia alike. In the 
old songs the bards found their niaterial, and into that 
material as warp they wove the ideas and customs of their 
own times and conditions. 

The Iliad and the Odyssey were the products of the 
greatest of these bards. Homer took the old Achaean 
songs and traditions and with the fire of his genius forged 
them afresh into the finest of epic poems.^ The traditional 
stories contained many things foreign to the spirit of the 
poet. In them the poisoned arrow was deadly, the slaughter 

1 The Homeric question has been a subject so widely discussed and with 
such varying views that the writer has felt it best to adhere to the 
opinion upheld by Botsford in his Hellenic History (in manuscript) 
without entering into a discussion of the question. In accordance with 
that opinion the changes in the matter and spirit of the tradition noted by 
Gilbert Murray in his Rise of the Greek Epic (2nd ed. Oxford, 1911), 
have been treated as a part of Homer's work in his handling of the old 


of f oemen knew no mercy. The dead was despoiled of his 
armor, his head placed upon the stakes of the wall and his 
body defiled and left as a prey to the dogs and vultures. 
When a city was captured it was wasted by fire, the war- 
riors were slain in the presence of their wives, and their 
bodies left to be torn to pieces by the very dogs they had 
raised; while the women were driven with blows from the 
corpses of their husbands and led into a far-off land as 
slaves, and " in Argos ply another's loom and bring water 
of Messeis or Hypereia, though unwilling stem compulsion 
presses on/' ^ The infant children not worth carrying off 
were dashed to the ground and not even the man-child in 
the mother's womb was spared.^ At the bier of the fallen 
hero captured warriors were slain as a sacrifice to appease 
the dead. The gods, too, demanded human sacrifice and 
purificatory rites for blood guilt.* 

The strength of tradition prevented the omission of many 
of these things, though they were contrary to the spirit of 
the poet. So many as he could, he omitted ; others he ex- 
cused or palliated on other grotmds. He declared that the 
gods themselves forbade the use of deadly drugs on arrows.* 
In his treatment of the stories, the captured were not slain, 
except in the heat of fiercest battle, but held for ransom.** 
The suppliant, though he were one's dearest enemy, was al- 
ways spared, for Zeus was his protector.* Despoliation and 
defilement were often threatened but, save for the taking of 
armor, never performed. The word which meant defile- 

1 //. vi, 456-8. 

*//. vi, 410-465; xvii, 125-7, 238-45; xviii, 176-7, 334-5; xix, 291-4; 
xxii, 59-76; ix, 590-4; vi, 55-6o; xxiv, 730-i; Od. viii, 522 et seq. 
3 Vide infra, p. 35. 
* Od. i, 260-3. 

*//. ii, 229-30; xi, 131-5, 104-106. 
«//. xxiv, 185-7. 

41 1 ] THE EPIC AGE 17 

ment was changed to mean dectot covering/ In addition, 
truces were arranged to provide for the burial of the dead.^ 
The maltreatment of Hector's corpse, a grievous deed in 
the mind of the poet, was excused because of the excessive 
grief of Achilles. Nay more, the gods intervened to pre- 
serve the body unharmed and to save him from a terrible 
sin.* The gods forbade loud thanksgiving over slaughtered 
men. The fate of conquered and captured is predicted, 
feared, and made a subject for lamentation in gieneral, 
though the lot of Briseis was certainly not entirely unhappy. 
The stories of human sacrifice and purificatory rites were 
omitted, and the slaughter of the twelve noble youths at the 
funeral pyre of Patroclus was laid rather to grief and wrath 
than to any desire to appease the dead.* 

The stage of society which Homer represents was natural 
to an age which had seen the end of wanderings and the 
first suggestions of settled life. Cities, governments and 
customs were just beginning to assume stable forms. The 
days of the mighty warriors of the epic when men were 
greater and stronger and more warlike "than men are now/* 
were past. Between the tribes there still existed a relation- 
ship of neither war nor peace. Commimities and individ- 
uals preyed on each other or kept peace as necessity or greed 
dictated, without formalities of declarations or treaties. 
Piracy was a recognized profession grouped with legiti- 
mate trade and adventure and carried no disgrace. Raiding 
parties seized the cattle on the hillsides and sold the herds- 
man into slavery, or wasted the harvest and carried off the 
oxen and the horses. The only recourse for the injured, 

* Murray, Rise of the Greek Epicj p. 147. 
*//. vii, 375-^. 

• //. xxiii, 24 et seq. ; xxiv, 15-21. 

*0n the subject of these changes c/. Murray, op. cit,, ch. v. As will 
be seen, they are thoroughly in consonance with the spirit of the poem. 


whether tribe or individual, was retaliation and open war- 
fare.^ Personal or family quarrels between princes led to 
strife between tribes.^ The poet considered the violation of 
hospitality and the invasion of the family circle in the theft 
of Helen a cause entirely sufficient for the ten years' war 
and the destruction of Troy. But back of it he saw the final 
cause in the guiding power of Zeus, swaying the destiny of 
nations. Helen was but a pawn in his hands for the de- 
struction of Troy. He was the final arbiter and " hath 
brought down the head of many cities." * 

Yet the seeds of future interstate law existed and played 
their part in the alleviation of strife. The privilege of em- 
bassy was considered inviolate under the protection of Zeus, 
as when Menelaus and Odysseus visited Troy in their vain 
effort to avoid the war. The act of those Trojans who pro- 
posed in the assembly that they be slain forthwith was held 
to be a foul shame.* Truces were frequently made, sur- 
rounded with religious ceremonies, and their binding force 
was recognized, that the dead might be buried, that Hector 
might address the warriors, or that champions might fight 
to decide the issue and save the host from further grievous 
strife. The violation of the truce was considered a craven 
and irreligious act and brought renewal of the combat.* 
The institution of guest-friendship existed and formed a 
bond sufficient to cause f oemen to spare each other in the 
fight and to reconcile them.* The respect which the strong 
and generous man felt for a worthy foeman led to brief 
reconciliation and exchange of gifts. Later they might re- 

^//. i, 152-6; Od. iii, 103-6; ix, 252; //. i, 124, $; xxiii, 341, 2; xi, 104-6. 

'Chadwick, Heroic Age, pp. 331, ei seq. 

»//. ii, 117, 177, 8; iii, 164, 5; ix, 337-41 ; ii, 38-40. 

*//. xi, 138-42. 

'//. iii, 250-311; vii, 375-S; iv, 86-222; iv, 220-239; ix, 338-41. 

• //. vi, 215-31 ; Od. XV, 196, 7. 

413] THE EPIC AGE ig 

new the fight, but for the time men might say, " these twain 
fought for the sake of strife that tears the heart, then in 
friendship joined together they parted." ^ Age with honor 
received its due respect and gained for Eetion all the honors 
of a warrior's burial from Achilles when high-gated Thebes 
was sacked.^ Between the deadliest enemies only was this 
of no avail. Hector offered it but Achilles refused, for 
friendship was impossible, nor could any agreement be 
made tmtil one or the other fell.* 

Warfare in the Homeric Age was a personal or tribal 
matter. The poet represents the warrior of his day as fight- 
ing to protect his parents, wives and children, to defend the 
safety of his allies or to gain honor for his chief.* He suf- 
fered toil cheerfully that he might obtain booty and wealth 
for himself. Preeminence might be gained by oratory in 
the council; indeed many of the most renowned fighters 
were distinguished for their ability in that respect, but that 
served only to accentuate their preeminence in the fight. '^ 
Lands and dominions obligated men to stand in the first 
rank and prove their merit in the combat.® The highest 
prize of all was the personal glory which war as kydaneira, 
the giver of glory to men, might secure for the warrior. His 
prowess in the combat was his proudest boast. That his 
glory might be celebrated everywhere and for all time was 
the summit of his ambition.^ For this he gave up all the 
pleasures of life, suffered all manner of hardships, courted 

^ //. vii, 288-302. ' //. vi, 416-420. 

•//. xxii, 261-272, a characteristic feature of heroic poetry, cf. Chad- 
wick, op. cit, p. 462. 

*//. viii, 55-57; xvii, 156-8, 220-8; i, 148-168; xiii, 266-71; xx, 661-6; 
xvi, 270 et seq, 

^ II. 1, 490; ii, 202; iii, 204 et seq. ; xiii, 260,. et seq. ; i, 124, 5 ; xi, 407-410. 

• //. xii, 310-28. 

^ Chadwick, op, cit., p. 326. 


death in his youth, even chose death that his fame might 
live through the ages. 

War, therefore, is, in the mind of the poet, the chief 
business of men from youth to age.^ But he regards it as 
the especial flower of youth. The valor wherein is highest 
power, the reckless courage of the yotmg man, fosterling of 
Zeus, sweeps him on without the caution of age and secures 
for him distinction. If he falls torn by the sharp spear in 
the field of honorable battle, his fame is sure and it is a 
seemly sight to his comrades.* 

The reaction of the battle on the warrior soul, Homer 
knows well and stirringly describes. The very sight of 
steel is enough to stir up the martial spirit in the hero's 
breast.* When the stubborn fight draws near, the man of 
war becomes hardy and war is dear to him. He yearns for 
it and prays to mingle in the dread combat.* Then pre- 
eminence gained by words in the council is of no avail. The 
time for words has ended and the councillor finds glory in 
the contest.* To express the spirit that grips the warrior's 
soul in the charge, Homer used a special word Charmer joy 
in battle.* Grods and men alike were possessed by it in the 
mel^e of the contest. It brought lust for battle and made 
men fight unwearied and unwearying.*^ Under its influence 
they were insatiate of the combat and thought war far 
sweeter than dear native land.® When the favorable omen, 

1 //. vi, 492, 3 ; xiv, 84-89. 

'//. vi, 492; iii, 108-110; IX, 39; xiii, 484; xiv, 85, 6; xvi, 626-31; 
xxii, 59-76. 

• Od. xvi, 294. 

*//. ii, 473; iv, 225; xiii, 270- 1 ; xv, 486-8; xvi, 492-4. 
'//. xvi, 627-31. 

• //. V, 608, et al. 
^ Ii XV, 696-8. 

•//. ii, 451-4; xi, 3-14; xiii, 636-9. 

415] l'^^ ^PiC AGE 21 

the bird of Zeus, brought the fervor of success, it was the 
war god Ares himself who entered into men and gave them 
untold powers/ Poseidon strengthened the Ajantes and 
filled them with the will for strife even with mighty Hector : 

And of the twain Oileus' son, the swift- footed Ajax, was the 
first to know the god and instantly he spake to Ajax, son of 
Tdamon. ". . . For lo ! the courage within my own breast is 
roused up the more for war and battle while my feet below and 
my hands above quiver with eagerness." Then, answering him, 
spake Telamonian Ajax. " So even now my hands invincible 
lust for the spear-handle, and my spirit is arisen and my feet 
speed beneath me. So do I yearn to fight the rage unceasing 
even of Hector, son of Priam." * 

But the poet understands the effects of disaster on the 
morale of the fighter. Charme is not a constant thing. 
The pain of a wound causes it to disappear.* When the 
tide of battle turns and defeat impends and the death- 
dealing arrows pour in thickly, all memory of the joy of 
battle is lost and the fighters think longingly of home and 
family and peace.* 

Death is no dishonorable thing. Homer feels, when by 
this means family and home are saved." Far more is cow- 
ardice that flees the fight disgraceful ; it is the most venom- 
ous charge that can be made against a warrior.* Craven 
Paris is but a sorry figure beside glorious Hector.^ The 
man who flees the combat is fit only for death.® The cow- 
ards were driven into the center of the ranks whence there 

*//. viii, 251-2; XV, 379^. 

2//. xiii, 73-80. Quotations from the Iliad are based upon the trans- 
lation by Lang, Leaf and Myers (London, 1917). 

•//. xii, 389-94; xvii, 602. 

*Il. xiii, 620-39; xiii, 721. 

» //. XV, 494-9. • //. i, 225-8. 

* //. iii, 38, et seq. * (L xii, 241-50. 


was no escape and thus compelled to fight. ^ This made fear 
of shame in the eyes of comrades and of the women, the 
greatest spur to the warrior's soul.^ Men are summoned 
not to the dancing floor but to the battlefield, and there all 
fear and weakness must be laid aside and with eagerness 
and strength the battle joined at risk of life or death.* 
" Friends," said Atreides, " be men and brave of heart. 
Fear the shame of others in the stubborn fight. Of men 
fleeing from shame, more survive in safety than are slain, 
but for those that flee the fight there arises neither fame nor 
safety." * So spoke the chieftain and men knew it to be 
just. Yet they felt the bitterness that justice did not always 
prevail. " Equal lot falleth to him that remaineth and to 
him that goeth forth to fight; in the same honor are held 
the evil and the good; both must die, the toilless man and 
the hero of many deeds." ^ 

The glorification of war, the gleam and glory of battle, 
were the subjects of the finest word-pictures the master of 
poets could paint. He describes the hosts as they move into 
battle, as the west wind which the goatherd sees as it blows 
across the sea and gradually becomes the great whirlwind 
that drives the flocks scurrying to the cave.® The Trojans 
with their clamor and shouting seem to him like the cranes 
that come to the ocean fleeing the cold of winter,"^ as count- 
less as the leaves and flowers of spring or as the flies that 
hover about the milkman's pails when the milk has been 
poured from them, or the feathered birds, wild geese or 
cranes or long-necked swans flying by the river Caystrus on 
the Asian plain, and crying as they fly, rejoicing in their 
plumage. The dazzling gleam of their bronze is like a rav- 

* //. iv, 293-309. ' //. vi, 441-4. 

» II XV, 502-13. * ^^. V, 528-32 ; XV, 561-4. 

»//. ix, 318-32. •//. iv, 273-82; cf. XV, 379-389. * 

'//. iii, 1-9. 

417] THE EPIC AGE 23 

aging fire in a boundless forest on a mountain-top/ The 
finest picture of all is that of the Greek host in the thir- 
teenth book. 

Spear on spear made close-set fence, and shield on serried 
shield, buckler pressed on buckler, and helm on helm, and man 
on man. The horsehair crests on the bright helmet ridges 
touched each other as they nodded, so close they stood each by 
other, and spears brandished by bold hands were interlaced and 
their hearts were steadfast and lusted for battle.^ 

In the stress of battle itself. Homer sees a fire that leaps 
upon a city of men and roars out with the wind, or a cloud 
of dust which the wind stirs up on a day when the dust lies 
thickest on the roads.* 

To the scenes and details of the battle the poet devotes 
hiis highest art, and the modem reader still must thrill at the 
tales of combat as did the listeners of ancient days. But 
the genius of Homer is greater than that. Beneath the 
glitter and the gleam he penetrates to the darker side, the 
exhaustion of men and beasts, the mind-shaking confusion, 
the darts, the dust, the shattered arms, the groans of the 
fallen and the black blood.* 

The baldrick of the shield man-sheltering shall become wet on 
the breast and hand shall become weary round the spear, and 
the horse as he draws the well-polished chariot shall be drenched 
with sweat, for the coming of night only shall separate the 

In the battle-fever he sees Ares, bane of mortals, and his 

* II h 455-73 ; iv, 273-282 ; xvii, 735-41- 

' //. xiii, 125-35 ; cf, xvi, 165 et seq. 

» //. xvii, 735-41 ; xiii, 333-44- 

*//. iv, 44.6-51 ; X, 297-8; xi, 163-4; xi, 53-55- 

*//.ii, 386-90. 


dear son Panic, that terrifies even the hardy warrior, and 
Terror and Rout and Strife, Eris whose fury wearieth not, 
own sister and mistress of murderous Ares, who drags the 
wounded and the dead through the melee, her cloak red 
with the blood of men. It was she who first cast discord 
among men. From small beginnings she causes strife to 
arise. At first she rears her crest but little, and then her 
head towers towards heaven and she walks upon the earth.^ 
Men fall in battle as the thickets of trees before the fine 
when the wind rages or as the grain in the rich man's field 
before the reapers.^ Not even Ares nor Athena may de- 
spise the sight, and Eris alone is glad; while of men, the 
poet declares, only the hard of heart may not sorrow at the 
sight.' This is the final hazard of war and each man prays 
to one of the immortal gods for escape from death and the 
melie of Ares.* 

A great many adjectives are used in the poems for vivid- 
ness in the description of war, furious and stubborn, keen 
and raging, incessant and mighty in its dread battle-cry, but 
always a bringer of glory to men. On the other hand. Ares 
is called the sacker of cities, insatiate of war, reckless and 
ruthless, all destructive, a blood-stained bane to mortals, 
man-slaying and glutted with blood, evil, loathsome, ill- 
sounding, toilsome, grievous, sad and full of tears, murder- 
ous and bringing a pitiable sleep, epithets which show the 
other side of the combat. 

That war brings hardship and toil as well as glory. Homer 
knows full well.* He shows how the warrior must stay for 
long periods away from wife and child, and must refrain 

* //. iv, 43^45 ; xviii, 535-8 ; xiii, 298-300. 
'//. xi, 67-74, 150-162. 

»//. xi, 73-4; xiii, 343-4; iv, 539-44; xvii, 360-5. 
*//.ii, 400-1. 

* Od, iii, 100. 

419] ^^^ ^p^c ^^^ 25 

from honey-hearted wine lest he be crippled of his courage 
and forgetful of his might/ He sets forth the uncertainty 
of war. Ares rageth confusedly and men live or die as fate 
decrees.^ The war god has no favorites and he that would 
kill is killed.* Then many a noble young man falls into 
darkness; all his accomplishments are of no avail and the 
soul, leaving manhood and youth, departs wailing to Hades' 
realm, that most wretched of all lands.* The body is left 
far from loving hands for the birds that eat raw flesh to 
shroud it with their wings. ^ The living may mourn but for 
a day, for the foeman ever presses on.* Such burdens and 
fears would be enough to make a man depart disheartened 
were it not a shame to wait so long and go away empty. ^ 
In the end, however, the glorious rewards of praise and 
booty make it all worth while in the eyes of the warrior.® 

But there is still another side of the picture. Parents, 
wives and children and the possessions which the needy 
tovet are left at home. The return of the absent one brings 
joy, but his death, grief tmspeakable. Nor ever do his chil- 
dren prattle on his knees when he comes back from war and 
the dread combat.* The aged father whose sons have fal- 
len, never repaid for their nurture, is broken with sorrow, 
and kinsmen divide his property. Or if sons remain at 
home, they are the shameful ones, false-tongued, light- 

1//. ii, 134-7, 291-8; vi, 264-5. 

' Od, xi, 534, 5 ; //. xi, 407-410. 

•//. xviii, 309. 

*//. V, 47, 68, 82 ei seq.; xi, 161 et seq,; xvi, 856-7; Od, id, 488 et seq,; 
xi, 24i-3> 262, 3. 

»//. xi, 391-5, 450-4. 

•//. xix, 225-33. 

^//. ii,29i-a 

•//. ii, 3S4-6; xiii, 266-71 ; xiv, 84-9. 

•//. V, 407-9, 479-81 ; ii, 699-702; V, 687-8; xvii, 34-37. 


hearted heroes of the dance.* But the doom of the captive 
woman who sees husband, brothers, father, warrior son and 
all, slain, her infant son hurled from the walls, and then in 
captivity suffers the vengeance of the conqueror, is the 
hardest lot of all." The lament of Andromache is one of 
the finest touches of deep human feeling in all literature.* 

While the poet, deep in his understanding of human 
nature and true to life, presents both sides of war, he often 
uses the evil to make more vivid the glorious by contrast. 
His own attitude and the true sentiment of the poems may 
be foimd in his treatment of the two great figures of the 
Iliady Hector and Achilles. They call forth his most ex- 
pressive language, arouse him to the highest pitch of poetic 
achievement and present in their careers the noblest ideals 
of his age. And the warrior's life was their choice and 
pride. " For war is the task of all men, but most of all for 
me, among those who dwell in Ilium," was Hector's proud 
boast.* Bravery in the forefront of the Trojans was the 
lesson he had learned in the battles he had fought for his 
father's glory and his own.^ The highest aspiration of the 
chieftain for his son, one of the most genuine expressions 
of the poem, is to be found in his prayer for Astyanax : 

Zeus and ye other gods, grant me this I pray. May this, my 
son, become even as I, most splendid of the Trojans and of as 
mighty power, and may he rule valiantly in Ilium. And then 
may some one say, better far is he than his father ; and as lie 
comes from war and brings the bloody arms when he has slain 
the foeman, then may his mother rejoice in her heart.® 

^//. V, 23-4; vi, 127; V, 152-8; xiv, 501-5; xvii, 301-2; xxiv, 253-62. 
'//. ii, 354-6; vi, 410-65; ix, 590-4; xix, 292-4; Od. viii, 5^ et seq. 

»//.xxii, 477-515. 

* //. vi, 492-3. 

* //. vi, 440-65. 
•//.vi, 476-81. 

42 1 ] THE EPIC AGE 27 

Ability, courage, booty, fame, what else is there to wish 

The choice of Achilles, a short life and glory everlasting 
instead of uneventful old age, is the keynote of the Iliad. 
Until his quarrel with Agamemnon he ever bore the bnmt 
of war and was the leader of the Greeks in their plundering 
raids. Twelve cities of men he sacked from shipboard, and 
from land eleven/ After the quarrel, when angry pride 
kept him from the combat, he was consumed with longing.^ 
Then when fired with wrath at the death of Patroclus, he 
became invincible. The plain was covered and the river 
choked with the bodies of men he had slain. He refused 
all ransoms, rejected every covenant and was ready to fight 
with the river god himself.* 

All the poet's magic is employed in the description of 
these heroes as they fight. Hector is a storm-cloud of war, 
like unto a fleet wave or a ravening lion, or destructive fire 
on the hills.* " Foam came about his mouth and his eyes 
gleamed under his grim brows, and terribly the helmet shook 
above the temples of Hector as he fought, for Zeus himself 
from heaven was his ally." * When Achilles fought on the 

as through deep glens rageth fierce fire on some parched 
mountain side and the deep forest burneth and the wind driv- 
ing it whirleth every way the flame, so raged he every way with 
his spear, as it had been a god, pressing hard on the men he 
slew and the black earth ran with blood. Even as when one 
yoketh wide-browed bulls to tread white barley in a Established 
threshing floor and quickly it is trodden out beneath the feet 
of the loud-lowing bulls, thus beneath the great-hearted Achil- 
les, his whole-hooved horses trampled corpses and shields to- 

* //. ix, 338^; i, 165. » //. ii, 771-9 ; i, 490-2. 

•//. XX. *//. XV, 605-36. 

*//. XV, 606-11. 


-gether, and with blood the axle-tree below was sprinkled and 
the rims that ran round the car, for blood drops from the 
horses' hooves splashed them and blood drc^s from the tires of 
the wheels. But the son of Peleus pressed on to win him glory 
everlasting, flecking with gore his irresistible hands.^ 

The horror of the sight but adds to the marvel of the mighty 
man of arms. 

Glory everlasting was the hero's aim. Hector bowed to 
the will of destiny in death, but prayed that he might not 
die without a struggle but in some deeds of arms whereof 
men yet imbom might hear.* For this it was that Achilles 
gave up all else that men hold dear. When it had been 
attained he was willing to accept death whenever the im- 
mortal gods were minded to accomplish it.* 

As these men are the subjects of the poet's greatest joy, 
so is it fitting that they be likewise the subjects of his great- 
est grief. The lament over the death of Hector is one of 
the most moving of tragic verses. The old man Priam has 
seen, and must still see, full many ills, of sons perishing and 
daughters carried away, ere he shall fall a prey to the war- 
rior's sword and be torn to pieces by the dogs he has nur- 
tured.* But this is the greatest sorrow, when Hector falls 
before Achilles. The gods themselves take pity on him, 
preserve the body of his son and send him forth under 
divine guidance to ransom it. The king of mighty Ilitun 
descends to clasp the knees and kiss the hands, terrible man- 
slaying hands, of Achilles the victorious. 

Fear thou the gods, Achilles, and have compassion on me, be- 
thinking thee of thy father. Lo, I am yet more piteous than he 
and have braved what none other man on earth hath braved 

*//. XX, 490-504. *Jl' vi, 486-9; xxii, 304-s. 

» //. xxii, 365-6. * II xxii, 59-76. 

423] ^^^ ^^^^ ^G^^ 29 

before, to stretch forth my hands towards the face of the 
slayer of my sons.^ 

Achilles, too, has his sorrow. He knows that his own time 
is approaching. In the midst of his glory he must needs 
remember : " Yet over me too hang death and forceful 
fate. There cometh mom or eve or some noon-day when 
my life too some man shall take in battle." ^ He thinks of 
the grief of his aged father in his halls, his heart is melted 
within him and they weep together the old and the young, 
the one for his son, the other for his father's sake.^ So 
Homer portrays the final grief of war. 

Even as Homer's heroes, so were Homer's gods. The 
immortal gods looked down from Olympus upon the war; 
they were swayed by its passions, and interfered now to 
rescue some favorite from impending death, now to stir up 
their chosen side, again to take part in the war and fight 
against mortals, and finally even to fight against each other, 
a foolish thing for gods to fight for the sake of pitiful mor- 
tals, the most miserable of creatures.* Then they withdrew 
to their quiet seats while Discord kept up the war. Ares, 
the braggart bully, was unpopular because he loved strife 
and war and battles.*^ He was the stormer of cities, insati- 
ate of war.® Athena was driver of the spoil for the Greeks 
and was hailed as the protectress of the city by the Trojans."^ 
Cypris, however, was a coward goddess and not one of those 
that have mastery in battle of the warriors. * Zeus, the dis- 
penser of war to men, ruled over all and swayed the battle 

*//. xxiv, 477-9, S03-6. '//. xxi, 1 10-2. 

' //. xxiv, 507-12. 

*//. xi, 3-14; XXI, 462-7; ii, 451-4; V, 23, 24, 732; xiii, 125-135. 

*//. V, 889-91 ; xi, 3-14; 73-74. 

• //. vi, 269. 

* //. vi, 297. • //. V, 330-3. 


now one way and now another. It was he who broke the 
spear of Ajax and the bow of Teucer and made Hector 
faint-hearted. " Ever is the wit of Zeus stronger than the 
wit of men, for he driveth valiant men in flight and easily 
taketh away the victory and then again rouseth men to 
fight." ^ Apollo killed Patroclus and Athena betrayed Hec- 
tor to his death.^ Truly " the issues lie on the knees of the 
gods and from on high they guide the threads of victory." • 

Above gods and men alike the poet's vision descries Des- 
tiny whom none may gainsay or escape, be he coward or be 
he valiant. The hero warrior will accept its decree of life 
or death without question and meet it fearlessly and glor- 
iously as did Hector and Achilles, for not even Zeus may 
turn it aside.* In the contemplation of such a power the 
poet's heart sinks. " What a pitiable thing is man after all, 
the most miserable of all creeping things, bom unto pain, 
living like leaves in glowing life consuming the fruit of the 
earth, then sinking unto death." ^ In the last analysis there 
is but one avail. " One omen is best, to fight for native 
land." « 

But life is not all war, even in heroic times. The theme 
and central interest of the Iliad is war, yet there appear 
many peaceful scenes. As well as the Charme of battle the 
poet knows the happiness of peace. On the shield of Achil- 
les beside the city at war there is another at peace, happy 
with marriages and dances, women standing in the door- 
ways and men contending in the market place; the fresh- 

^ //. xvi, 119-21 ; XV, 462, 3 ; xvi, 656, 688-90. 

'//. xvi, 787-795; xxii, 214 et seq. 

*Il vii, 99; xvii, 514-5. 

*//. vi, 486-9; xi, 329-332; xxii, 365-6. 

*//. xxvii, 446-7; xxiv, 520-6. 

• //. xii, 243. 

425] ^^^ ^p^c ^^^ 31 

plowed field, the rich demesne land of a king in reaping 
time, the vineyard teeming plenteously with clusters, the 
herd of kine beside the murmuring river, and white sheep 
and thatched huts and folds. ^ 

In the midst of the strife when champions appeared and 
there were prospects of a settlement, the host rejoiced in 
silence in the dream of relief from the contest.^ Even 
doughty Menelaus in the midst of battle may wish for his 
fill of love and sleep and of sweet song and dance delectable 
rather than of war, but only, it must be remarked, when the 
fight is going against him.* The man who always loves 
strife and wars and fighting, Homer considers the most 
hateful of men, while only a tribeless, lawless, homeless 
man loves bitter civil strife.* 

From the store of his knowledge of peaceful conditions 
and of nature the poet drew many of those similes ^ which 
make so vivid and so artistic his scenes of battle, the winds 
and the clouds, the fleet waves, the birds, the leaves and the 
flowers in their season, the flies hovering about the herds- 
man's pails, the wide-browed bulls yoked to tread white 
barley. When in the midst of a thrilling description of 
battle he sought to mark the noon-day hour, his mind turned 
from the battle to the picture of the woodsman in the dells 
of the mountain resting and making ready his mid-day 
meal.® The startling transition presents such a contrast of 
colors as only the daring master may attempt, and the more 
successful therefore. 

In the Odyssey y on the other hand, the theme is travel 

^//. xviii, 467-608. '//. iii, 11 1-2. 

»//. xiii, 636-9. * *//. ix, 63-4; i, 176-7. 

^ It must be noted that many of the similes may belong to the tradi- 
tional material which Homer used. 

•//. xi, 84-90. 


and adventure. War and its glorification no longer play a 
leading role. The war is over, yet its spirit still broods 
over the lines of the poem. It is an ever present memory 
in the minds of men. The great men of the time were those 
who had taken part in the war, while Agamemnon's fame 
was the greatest under heaven.^ The most welcome news 
that Odysseus could bring to the shade of Achilles was that 
Neoptolemus, his son, had distinguished himself in feats of 
arms.^ Odysseus, too, was by no means a peaceful man. 
Athena chided him that he was too ready to fight, for the 
deeds of war were ever in his heart.* The strong man's 
pride appears especially in the boast of Odysseus when he 
arrived in Ithaca in disguise : 

But then verily did Ares and Athena give me boldness and 
courage to hurl through the press of men, whensoever I chose 
the best warriors at an ambush, sowing the seeds of evil for 
my foes. No fear of death was ever in my lordly heart, but I 
would leap out on the foremost and slay with the spear whoso 
of my foes was less fleet of foot than I. Such an one was I in 
war, but the labor of the field I loved not, nor homekeeping 
thrift that breeds brave children, but galleys and wars and pol- 
ished shafts and darts, baneful things whereat others used to 

Thus boasted the warrior home from the wars while the 
circle round him marveled. But men remembered the pain 
as well as the glory. Nestor declared that he would will- 
ingly sacrifice two-thirds of his riches to have with him 
safe those brave men who perished of old in the wide land 
of Troy." 

* Od, ix, 264. » Od. xi, 5i|-37. 

»0(/. xii, 1 16-7. 

*0d. xix, 216-226, trans, by Butcher and Lang (London, 1917). 

^ Od. iii, 103 ; iv, 97-99. 

427] ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ 33 

The society of the Odyssey shows the warlike state of 
the times. Princes wore their swords. Spears were carried 
into the assembly and to the dining-hall, where they were 
stacked. So familiar a feature of the furnishings of the 
great hall were they that their absence occasioned comment.^ 

In dreamy contrast to the tumult and the shouting, the 
glory and the suffering of the Greeks in the war, the 
troubled wanderings and sad home-comings of the warriors, 
the strife at home and the memories of war. Homer drew 
his picture of those ideal people, the Phaeacians. Far from 
strife and contention, they enjoyed eternal peace and pros- 
perity, for none should ever be able to bring war against 
them.^ Masts and oars and ships engaged their attention 
rather than the accoutrements of war. Yet the poet did not 
regard them as coward weaklings or inglorious, but worthy 
of all praise. The highest honor among them was to be 
achieved by hand and foot in the games from which 
the strife of boxing and wrestling was excluded. " For 
we are no perfect boxers nor wrestlers, but speedy runners 
and the best of seamen, and dear to us ever is the banquet 
and the harp and the dance and changes of raiment and love 
and sleep." * If this be the poet's ideal it is in marked 
contrast to that expressed in Hector's prayer. 

Whence came the rejections of the more brutal parts of 
the old tradition, these peaceful sentiments, this realization 
of the horrors of war and the joys of peace, those glorious 
similes of nature in her sunny as well as in her stormy 
moods, and this ideal dream of a people at peace? Some 
may be due to the northern background of the poet. The 
treatment of religion seems almost certainly the result 
of this: the gods are of the heavens and dwell on the 

^ Od, i, 99; ii, 10; xix, 5 et seq., xxii, 74. 

' Od. vi, 201 et seq, 

' Od, viii, 148 et seq.^ 246 et seq. 


mountain-tops, happy spirits fill all nature, and before 
Destiny all must bow. The rites of hospitality, the pro- 
tection of the suppliant, the ceremonies connected with 
burial are all characteristic of the northern peoples.* 
Other features may belong to the ancient tradition and 
reflect the love and appreciation of nature and of the 
arts of peace so evident in Minoan art. Most of them, 
doubtless, are the work of the genius of the poet himself 
in interpreting the finest sentiments of his own age. The 
greatness and the immortality of Homer find their source 
in this. His pictures hold all men because they are so 
thoroughly human; they reach the summit of human joy 
and they penetrate to the depths of human sorrow. As to 
his own age, the great days of the heroes were over, the 
wanderings had for the most part ceased. The aristocrats 
in whose courts the poets sang were approaching settled 
life and were learning the advantages of peace. Such con- 
ditions were essential for the development and perfection 
of so fine a flower of literature.^ Men still looked back on 
the more stirring days of old with longing, the old songs 
roused the martial fire in their breasts and caused them to 
pray for the warrior's glory and often to seek it, for they 
lived in no millennium of peace. But men were no longer 
as they had been. Those noble days were past. Newer 
days had come and the poet saw peace at hand. When 
the strife at Ithaca was over, Athena ended it with her 
blessing. " So may both sides love one another as of old 
and let peace and wealth abundant be their portion.*' ' 
Thus may the apparent contradiction between Hector and 
the Phaeacians be accounted for.* 

^Cf, Schrader, Die Indogermanen (Leipzig, 1911), passim, 

^Croiset, Histoire de la littSrature grecque (Paris, 1887), vol. i, p. 86. 

» Od, xxiv, 485. 

^ This appears to the writer as a more satisfactory explanation of the 
so-called expurgations than that of ascribing them to later periods, cf. 
Murray, op, cit, ch. v. 

429] ^^^ ^^^C ^G^ 35 

The poets of the Epic Cycle, probably more directly under 
the influence of -^gean survivals, preserved in their epics 
those things which Homer deleted. Of these poems there 
are but few fragments. In Alexandrian times they were cut 
up and arranged around the Iliad and the Odyssey to form 
a complete story. Of this, a later writer, Proclus, wrote an 
epitome of which some parts have survived along with a 
few snatches of the poems themselves. With these and by 
the aid of the dramatists of Athens who found their sub- 
jects in the poems, it is possible to gain some conception of 
the ideas of the poets of the Epic Cycle.^ 

The migrations had convinced these men that there were 
too many people on the earth and they conceived a curious 
prototype of the Malthusian theory as an explanation for 
the Trojan war. In answer to the appeal of Mother Earth, 
who was made weary by the burden of men wandering over 
her bosom, Zeus had brought on the war, with Helen as his 
tool, and thus had removed a large number of Achaeans 
and Trojans.^ The sacrifice of Iphigeneia at Aulis, weak- 
ened in the later telling by the story of the substitution of a 
doe, the sacrifice of Polyxena before the return home, the 
curious wounding of Philoctetes, Odysseus' purification of 
Achilles from blood-guilt after the murder of Thersites, the 
appearance of the ghost of Achilles to warn Agamemnon, 
are instances of the survival of earlier tales which suggest 
Minoan influence. The poets presented in bloody detail the 
death of Priam at the fall of Troy, the mournful captivity 
of Andromache, and the murder of Astyanax when he was 
hurled from the tower, with the heartless comment, " Fool- 
ish is he who, slaying the father, spareth the children." ^ 

Of the Theban epics with their tale of the ill-fated family 

^Lawton, Successors of Homer (London, i8p8). 

2 Ihid,^ p. 16. 

'Andrew Lang, World of Homer (London, 1910), chs. xv, xviii; Law- 
ton, op. dt, pp. ift 32. 


of Oedipus and its long list of horrible crimes, little is known 
save through later treatment. One fragment which survives 
contains the curse which Oedipus called down upon his two 
sons, and which was the cause of all their later woes, that 
strife and battle should ever continue between them.^ These 
pictures but set in higher relief the humanity of Homer. 

As Homer and his fellow bards are the representatives 
of the princely courts with their martial longings, Hesiod is 
the voice of the common man. With the return to settled 
conditions and peaceful circumstances the farmer might 
turn himself once again with some amount of security to 
the cultivation of his land and the care of his buildings, and 
might plan for the future. The soil was thin, life and the 
fates were hard; in the farmer's calendar was no time for 
the wars in which the martial desires of the rulers and the 
ever-present boundary disputes involved him. As his 
spokesman, Hesiod protested against that strife which ex- 
ulted in evil and multiplied wars and contentions through 
the will of the immortal gods.^ The fault lay in the wicked- 
ness of man. In olden days, so the poet sang, there had 
been a Golden Age when men lived in peace and quiet on 
their lands with all good things. The Silver Age had 
brought the beginnings of evil, and the Bronze Age had 
created a race of warlike men terrible and strong whose 
delight was in the works of dolorous Ares and in insolence. 
The race of heroes had followed, but they had been de- 
stroyed by war and battle before Thebes and Troy, and 
after them had come the culmination of evil in the rulers 
of his own age. He bewails the fact that he had not died 
before or been bom after the race of Iron.* In that race he 
saw all that was wrong. 

^ Lawton, op, cit, pp. 9 et seq, 

2 Hesiod, Erga, edRzach (Leipzig, 1908), trans. Mair (Oxford, 1908), 
14 et seq, 

' Ibid., 109 et seq. 

43 1 ] THE EPIC AGE 37 

Might shall be right and one shall sack the other's city. Neither 
shall there be any respect of the oath-abiding or of the just or 
of the good. Rather shall they ever honor the doer of evil and 
the man of insolence. Right shall lie in the might of hand and 
Reverence shall be no more.^ 

These are the causes of war and of woe. But he points to 
the solution, which is justice. Where that is practised 
cities flourish and people prosper. Peace, nurse of children, 
is at hand and keeps famine away, and Zeus never decrees 
war for them.^ But where the spirit of contention prevails 
there follow 

painful Toil and Oblivion and tearful Griefs and Wars and 
Battles and Murders and Manslayings and Quarrels and false 
Speeches and Disputes and Lawlessness and Ruin, of one char- 
acter one with another and which most afflicteth men on earth 
when any of his will sweareth falsely.* 

Of like character are the gods whom Hesiod represents 
as watching over and rejoicing in war; Athena Tritogeneia, 
driver of the spoils, a dread goddess, wakener of battles 
and leader of the host, the unwearied one whose pleasure is 
in din and war and battle ; Ares, insatiate of war, sacker of 
cities, piercer of shields, with his children, Rout and Fear, 
who drive in confusion the ranks of men. In contrast to 
them he sings of those children of Zeus, and of bright 
Themis, who is justice personified, Eunomia, law. Dike, 
justice, and Eirene, peace, who care for the works of mor- 
tal men, always companions each of other.* Happy the 
state in which they dwell ! 

1. Hesiod, Erga, i8p et seq, ^ Ibid., 225. 

« Id.y Theog. 226. 

* Ibid., goi et seq., 924 et seq., 933 ^t seq. ; Erga, 22s et seq. 

The Early Period of the City-State 

The great basis of all Hellenic life, thought and action 
in the classic period was the city-state. The necessity for 
defense and the many political and social advantages of 
concentration caused the union of the small villages of 
tribal days into the larger and better fortified city. To it 
were transferred all the old institutions of the tribe — ^polit- 
ical and religious. Since all in the tribe were a part of the 
organization whether they lived in the city or in the sur- 
rounding country, while all political life centered in the 
city, the city and the state became synonymous. The tribal 
deity became the founder and protector of the city. Tribal 
feeling was transformed into local patriotism, which rested 
on loyalty to local divinities, a great sanctification of terri- 
tory and withal a strong attitude of independence and ex- 
clusiveness. The sacred right of any city-state, no matter 
how small, to rule itself and to keep itself apart from all 
others became the fundamental principle of all Greek polit- 
ical life. It formed the greatest obstacle to any attempt at 
union. ^ 

Nature made communication by land difficult and kept 
the Greeks apart in their little valleys, and aided in this dis- 
union. Diversities of dialect surviving from tribal days 
were accentuated. Local variations in the calendar, differ- 
ences in time and ritual of religious festivals, separate sys- 

^Cf. Zimmern, Greek Commonwealth (Oxford, I9i5),2nd ed., pp. 64, 5. 
38 [432 


terns of coinage and weights and measures, were fertile in 
producing distinctions and mutual distrust. The quarrels 
which inevitably followed, the desire for and the fear ot 
domination, the apparent impossibility of lasting union 
without the sacrifice of precious freedom of action, were 
prolific causes of wars and dissensions. 

Nature furnished another cause for war when it refused 
to the Greeks sufficient supplies of food. Even in the days 
after the development of widespread commerce the very 
life of the city-state depended on its control of the valleys 
whence food might be secured. That city which controlled 
them was in a position to dominate all the neighboring com- 
munities. Most early wars, therefore, were fought for the 
possession of territory. After the development of com- 
merce the desire for the control of trade-routes added an- 
other basis for disputes.^ 

The city-state, however, was productive of most that was 
best in Hellenic civilization. Concentration within narrow 
limits wrought a greater intensity of political life, a higher 
consciousness of political feeling, which in turn caused those 
manifold experiments in the art of government. The de- 
sire to glorify the state and its gods, to beautify the city and 
to secure for it leadership in the arts of peace and of war 
led to the production of the finest works of Hellenic genius. 
The intensity of the Greek's devotion to his native city 
cannot be overestimated. Death for the polis was far 
preferable to banishment. The happiest man whom the 
statesman knew was he who, after a comfortable life in 
"which he had seen his children develop, died in battle for 
his homeland.^ 

Certain elements of concord existed to mitigate the evils 

*Zimmem, op, cit^ ch. v. 

'Herodotus, ed. Stein, H., 2 vols. (Berlin, 186^71), translated by 
Rawlinson, G., 2 vols. (New York, 1910), i, 30. 


The oracle, however, spread its influence far beyond the 
dwellers around and, except when it fell under the influ- 
ence of some powerful state or party, preserved its reputa- 
tion for impartiality. It was courted by the wealthy kingfs 
of Lydia and of Phrygia as well as sought by the humblest 
Greek, and to each it gave its answer. Disputes were 
brought to the god for settlement and wars were averted or 
ended. Unfavorable utterances delayed or prevented hos- 
tilities. Its disfavor was feared. In these ways it played 
its part in the ending of interstate anarchy among the 
Greeks. Its position was rather one of influence than of 
power. ^ 

The work of union begun by the 01)rmpic games was 
furthered by the development of games in honor of the 
Pythian god, to which were added the Isthmian and Nemean 
festivals. To advance the prosperity of the festivals and 
to make it possible for embassies to travel at all seasons of 
the year sacred roads were built along the main lines of 
traffic. Though religious in purpose, they formed good 
routes of communication for the trader as well and aided 
in binding the mainland together.^ 

The growth of political organization in the city-state 
combined with the development of trade and industry to 
effect many changes in the conditions of life, which re- 
flected themselves in the field of interstate relations. Pri- 
vate war came to an end. Criminal justice in the hands of 
the state under the gods took the place of the old-time feud. 
The citizen secured protection for life and property from 
the magistrate and no longer went armed about his busi- 
ness. The noble hung his swords and spears and shields on 
the walls of his armory, whence he took them only at the 

^ Botsford, op, cit, 

'Curtius, History of Greece, 5 vols. (New York, 1907), vol. ii, p. 42. 


behest of state or party. The very character of warfare 
had changed. Mining and industry had cheapened armor 
so that the commoner could fit himself for war. The newly 
developed phalanx came to be more important in battle than 
magnificently caparisoned nobles. Fighting then ceased to 
be the glory of the upper classes and became the duty of 
every citizen. The state and not the individual leader called 
the man to war. The individualist adventurer found plenty 
of excitement in the still unsettled regions of the new colo- 
nies, while men went to Egypt and to Babylonia to enlist in 
the armies of the Oriental kings. ^ 

Interstate relations entered upon a new epoch. The well- 
organized city-state was better able to execute a foreign 
policy, to make and to keep agreements than had been the 
shifting tribes of earlier days. With the occupation of the 
country migratory movements on the mainland of Greece 
had ceased. No longer did men live by raiding and piracy, 
except when practised on a large scale as by Polycrates 
of Samos, ceased to be an honorable profession. Corinth 
took the place of ancient Minos and rid the ^gean of 
these pests. Religion and custom combined to regulate the 
character of war. The Delphic rules were of local appli- 
cation, but there were more general laws which all ob- 
served. Formal declaration of war by heralds took the 
place of the sudden raid of the time of Achilles. Heralds 
and envoys were under the protection of the gods and it 
was a sin to injure them even if they were barbarians.^ 
The importance of the fields to the life of the state led to 
the growth of the phalanx for their defence, and this rather 
unwieldy formation resulted in a type of battle fought 
always according to well-established practices. The battle 

1 Beloch, op. cit.y i, i, pp. 281 et seq., 316 et seq, 

2 Ibid.y pp. 315 et seq. 


ranted or their positions were sufficiently secure, the tyrants 
tended to avoid war and to advance their own influence and 
the position of their cities by other means. Prominent men 
of other states, poets, artists and philosophers, were invited 
to come and add to the brilliance of their courts, with resul- 
tant cultural interchange and better mutual understanding. 
The commercial horizon of their cities was widened by wise 
measures. In advancing their own power they affected the 
other states as well. Thus Periander of Corinth developed 
the Isthmian games. He frequently acted as arbiter in 
disputes between warring states. Cleisthenes of Sicyon 
brought his state into close relation with others by taking a 
leading part in the first Sacred War and by securing a mar- 
riage alliance with a powerful family of Athens. Similar- 
ity of position produced a feeling of dependence among the 
tyrants themselves. They sent envoys back and forth, ex- 
changed ideas and methods and established a sort of entente 
between their cities.^ 

The greatest work of the tyrants in the cause of Panhel- 
lenism was in their treatment of the epic tradition. The 
legends of the gods, the stories of early wars and great 
heroes furnished to the Greeks that basis of common his- 
tory, the spirit of which alone makes a people into a nation. 
The Trojan war represented a national movement, not the 
effort of any one city, and in its glories the Greek felt a 
thrill of pride that was Hellenic, not local. Already these 
poems were so widely known that men in all localities un- 
derstood the language used and employed it in their own 
writings.^ It was these tales, possibly, which inspired Phei- 
don of Argos to his attempt. 

The poems were used as evidence for the settlement of 

1 Beloch, op, city vol i, i, p. 356. There are many instances of these 
things given in Herodotus. 

' Beloch, op, cit, vol. i, i, pp. 309 et seq. 


disputes ^ and all Greek states sought a place in the cata- 
logue of ships in the Iliad. Still it was in the court of the 
noble that the rhapsodist sang the lays. They were re- 
garded as the possession of the aristocracy. The tyrants in 
their endeavor to break down the prestige of the nobles 
created new festivals and at them made the epics the heri- 
tage of every man. Tradition ascribes to Peisistratus of 
Athens the writing down of the poems that all might have 
a correct version.^ 

Language came to form an added bond. Homer appar- 
ently knew no difference between Greek and Trojan in lan- 
guage or religion. The growth of oracle, of festival to 
which only Greeks were admitted, and of mart, made evi- 
dent a community of language. In this the epic played a 
leading part. Hesiod and Archilochus were the first to 
apply the term Hellenes to all Greeks.^ However, it was 
when the Greek came into contact with the outside world, 
with people whom he could not understand and to whom he 
therefore applied the name barbaros, that he felt most keenly 
his kinship with all the Greeks. It must be remembered, 
however, that there is no evidence for ascribing to this 
period the contempt expressed by later philosophers for bar- 
barians. On the contrary, it is evident that Lydians and 
Phrygians were both respected and courted, and that the 
same rules of warfare were enforced by the gods on the 
relations between Greeks and barbarians as among the 
Greeks themselves.* 

The most important and ever-present impulse to peace 
and unity after religion was to be found in commerce. Its 

^Raeder, L' Arbitrage international chez les Hellenes (New York, 
1912), p. 19. 

2 Busolt, Griechische Geschichte (2nd ed., Gotha, i805), vol. ii, p. 373. 

' Hesiod, Erga 653 ; Archilochus, f r. 52. 

* Herodotus vi, 48; vii, 136. 


interests were served in the festivals ; it was a vital factor 
in the cause and in the success of many colonies; it added 
to the tyrant's zeal; it bound states together by the closest 
ties, those of mutual self-interest; it played the greatest 
part in the development of interstate relations; but it was 
also the cause of bitter wars between rival states for the 
control of the highways of trade and of the markets them- 
selves. So closely were the cities held by commercial inter- 
ests that a quarrel between two trading cities, Chalcis and 
Eretria, over a little plain on the island of Euboea, involved 
most of the prominent Greek states of that day in the semi- 
mythical Lelantine war.^ 

Commercial necessity compelled a partial abandonment of 
the rigid exclusiveness which religion enjoined in the treat- 
ment of the foreign trader in the city markets. To satisfy 
the religious exigencies of the situation, the old and time- 
honored family custom of guest-friendship was developed 
into a form of consulship. States secured guest-friends, 
proxenoi, from among the prominent citizens of other states. 
It was the duty of such men to look after the interests of the 
state they befriended, to take care of its citizens when they 
arrived, to see that they were justly treated, to represent 
them in the courts and to aid them in the transaction of 
their business. Save in Sparta, where strangers were un- 
welcome and were frequently invited by the ephors to de- 
part, and where accordingly the appointment of proxenoi 
was kept in the hands of local authorities, the state to be 
represented chose its own guest-friend. The right thus be- 
stowed became hereditary and usually one of the most 
prized possessions of the family. Proxenia became a well- 
established institution in the sixth century, the recognized 
right of a citizen and a part of the machinery used to secure 
the enforcement of treaties. It created in the state a party 

* Busolt, op, cit, vol. i, p. 456. 


favorable to the foreign state, which acted frequently as a 
deterrent to war and an aid to alliances.^ 

The existence of a large number of evenly-balanced 
states produced a sort of equilibrium in the Hellenic world. 
It was difficult for one state to secure a decision over an- 
other in war. The consequent length of the struggles and 
the uncertainty of success led to the use of other means to 
settle disputes.^ Champions were chosen to defend the 
cause of their cities and prevent useless shedding of blood, 
as in the famous war between Argos and Sparta over the 
Thyreatis when three hundred Argives fought an equal 
number of Spartans.* Herodotus tells a curious tale of a 
strife in the Chersonesus which was settled by a fight be- 
tween two men, two horses and two dogs.* This method 
did not avail. Indeed, in the case of the Thyreatic war it 
was followed by another battle between the armies of the 
opposing states. Recourse was therefore had to arbitra- 
tion. Later Greeks ascribed the origin of this institution to 
the gods. The earliest cases reported among men are 
purely legendary. The first historical case was in a quarrel 
between Chalcis and Andros over the village of Acanthus 
in the Qialcidice, which was settled in favor of Andros by 
the Samians, Parians, and Erythreans.*^ Five Spartans de- 
cided the question between Megara and Athens over the 
possession of Salamis in favor of Athens after a long and 
disastrous war had failed to accomplish a decision.® Peri- 
ander arbitrated the war between Athens and Mytilene 
over the control of the Hellespont on a basis of status quo, 

* Phillipson, op, cit, vol. i, pp. 147 et seq, 

* Raeder, op, cit, p. 145. 

* Herodotus, i, 82. 

*/(f., V, I. 

* Raeder, op, cit, pp. 16, et seq, 

* Ibid,, pp. 17, et seq. 


a virtual victory for Mytilene/ and he used his good offices 
to bring to an end a profitless struggle between Miletus and 
the Lydians.^ The boundaries of Elis and Arcadia were 
fixed by an Olympic victor, Pyttalus,* and the Corinthians 
settled a quarrel between Athens and Thebes over Platea.* 
All of these cases concerned matters vital to the interests 
of the states involved, but in all except the last the decisicMti 
of the arbiters was accepted as final. There were doubtless 
many other instance of disputes ended by this means be- 
sides these few which have survived. By the end of the 
sixth century it had become so well recognized that after 
the Ionian revolt the Persians ordered the states under 
their control to settle all their arguments in this way.* It 
was employed more, however, judging from the evidence 
at hand, to end than to prevent wars. 

In spite of all these movements in the direction of peace, 
wars were regular and continuous. The aggressive char- 
acter of the Greek, the preference which he showed for 
settling arguments by a fight rather than by a compromise 
involved him in broils with his neighbors, both Hellenic 
and barbarian. War remained a customary part of the 
citizen's existence. 

The same influences which were affecting the relations 
of the Greeks with each other, religion, politics and com- 
merce, reflected themselves in the aesthetic life of the people. 
Wealth, luxury and refinement, contact through trade with 
the older civilizations of the Orient, the desire to glorify 
the city, its gods and its victorious athletes, to sing the 

* Raedcr, op, cit, pp. 20, et seq. 

' Busolt, op, cit., vol. ii, p. 466. 

'Raeder, op, cit, pp. 22 et seq. 

^Ibid., p. 23. 

5 Herodotus, vi, 42; cf. Westermann, "International Arbitration in 
Antiquity" in Classical lournal, ii (1906-7), pp. 197, et seq. 


praise of leader and of party, all led to the outburst of a 
new period of art and literature. In the great epics of old, 
men found inspiration and delight. But for themselves 
they sought different fields. They made mock of the stately 
hexameter by writing such comic epics as the Batracho- 
tnyomachiay the Battle between the Frogs and the Mice. 
Then in varying meters they sang songs of party strife, of 
love and wine and nature, or rallied their countrymen to 
the defense of native land against present enemies. Their 
artistic sense expressed itself in temples, in statues and in 
beautifully painted vases. Discovering themselves as indi- 
viduals in a great universe, they began to ask the questions 
of how and why, and the new science of philosophy devel- 
oped. The expression of their age, these artists, poets and 
philosophers filled a mutual need ; wherever they went they 
found a ready welcome; in many quarters their presence 
was earnestly solicited; they spoke the language of art 
which all could understand, and they became, no less than 
the great poets of the epic age, the common property of all 
Greeks and an added bond of union. In the endeavor to 
find out something of what they thought, it is necessary to 
remember that we have but the barest fragments of their 
works and conclusions must be drawn sparingly. All that 
is possible is to notice the general trend of their opinions 
as indicated in what evidence there is at hand. 

The leaders in this fresh life were to be found in the 
great and wealthy trading cities along the coast of Asia 
Minor. It was a stirring age, " a period of courts and 
t5rrannies, of colonial prosperity, of political animation, of 
social intrigues, of intellectual development, of religious^ 
transformation, of change and uncertainty in every depart- 
ment." ^ Wars there were aplenty, between neighboring 
states, with the threatening powers of Lydia and Phrygia, 

^ Symomls, Studies of the Greek Poets (London, 1893), vol. i, p. 239. 


with the invading Cimmerians, later with the overwhelming 
power of Persia, with the aggressive cities of the western 
side of the Mgean, in addition to civil strife at home. Yet 
there were adventurers who looked farther afield. They 
thronged into the colonies, they filled the armies of the 
Saite kings with mercenaries; ^ and the brother of the poet 
Alcaeus won great renown by fighting a giant in far-off 
Babylon.^ To these same cities came all the products of the 
Mediterranean and the Orient. Tradition ascribed to them 
the f otmdation of new industries. They became a synonym 
for luxury and refinement and elegance.* 

All of these things are reflected in tHe literature of the 
age. Of the oldest of the poets, Callinus of Ephesus, who 
lived about seven hundred B. C, there remains but one 
elegy. The Cimmerians had swept over Lydia, destroyed 
Magnesia and were threatening Ephesus. Callinus called 
his people to battle in a stirring poem, the main thought of 
which is : 1 

The enemy are wasting the land. Do you think you are at 
peace then ? Cease to slumber, but arise and fight ! When the 
fates will, man must die, and there is no escape. He who dies 
in war is mourned by all, while he who wins and lives is held 
as almost divine.* 

Language and idea are Homeric. When it is remembered 
that the city was successful in its defence, this poem seems 
to be hardly sufficient evidence on which to build the as- 
sumption that the Ephesians were effete and peace-loving.*^ 
Closely akin to Callinus in thought, more vigorous in 

' * CoUitz, 5261 ; cf. Busolt, op. cit, ii, p. 479. 
'Alcaeus, fr. 33. 

'Botsford and Sihler, Hellenic Civilization (New York, 1915), p. 203. 
* Callinus, fr. i. 
' Cf, Busolt, op. cit, vol. ii, p. 464- 


personality, and certainly the product of no slothful age 
stands his younger contemporary Archilochus.^ Born in 
Paros, colonizer of Thasos with the willing consent of his 
native city, restless warrior depending on his lance for his 
livelihood, he is the personification of Greek aggressiveness. 
The range of his interests and the vigorous force of his 
personality which he expressed in his poems differentiate 
him from the writers of the epopee. He wrote religious 
poems, fables as satires, and a long series of personal poems 
on topics varying from wine to shipwreck. The literary 
importance of his work rests on the fact that he is the first 
Greek to use the poetic medium to express himself as an 
individual, and in so doing broke the bonds of the older 
meters and created new standards. He described himself 
as a soldier and a poet. " I am the servant of the lord 
Enyalios and I am skilled in the lovely gift of the Muses." * 
He is as keen for a fight as a thirsty man for a drink.* His 
philosophy is that of a soldier of fortune. " Hearten the 
young warriors but trust to the gods for victory.'' * All 
things are in the hands of the gods. They set men up and 
knock them down. The only remedy that he finds is en- 
durance and moderation. 

Endure, endure my soul, disquieted by griefs beyond remedy 
and setting thy breast against the foe, hold thy ground, taking 
thy stand firm and dose amid the spears of the enemy. If 
thou conquerest, exult not openly, and if thou art conquered, 
lie not down in thy house and mourn. Rejoice in that which is 
meet for rejoicing and grieve not overmuch at calamities, but 
learn what condition prevails among men.*^ 

He laughs at the loss of his shield, that greatest of dis- 

* Hauvette, A., Un poHe ionien du VII^ siMe, Archilogue; sa vie et 
ses poMes (Paris, 1905). 

* Archilochus, f r. i. • Id., f r. 68. 
*W., fr. 55. * 7(f., fr. 6. 


graces, thereby creating a precedent for later lyric poets.^ 
His sense of the eternal fitness of things warns him that " it 
is not noble to make mock of the dead among men." * His 
ideal man is the true warrior, not the prancing swash- 
buckler with his curls and disdainful looks, but the little 
man, bow-legged, who stands firmly on his feet, with heart 
full of courage.* He excelled most as a poet when he turned 
the inspiration of the Muses to the service of Ares. 

Of the peaceful side of life in the seventh century, Se- 
monides of Amorgos and Mimnermus of Colophcwi are 
representative. The former is best known for his satire on 
women. His chief philosophy was the avoidance of troubles, 
of which war was one.* Mimnermus, on the other hand, 
wrote a war poem with wonderful richness of language, 
praising the martial virtues of Ionian heroes. His greatest 
theme, however, was not war, but love and youth. 

His name has passed into a proverb for luxurious verse, sad- 
dened by reflections on the fleeting joys of youth and the sure 
and steady progress of old age and death. They (his poems) 
breathe the air of sunny gardens and cool banquet rooms in 
which we picture the poet lingering out a pensive life, endeav- 
oring to crowd his hours with pleasures of all kinds, yet ever 
haunted and made fretful among his roses by the thought of 
wrinkles and death." 

These men are the earliest signs of the transformation from 
Homeric days. 

Of the era of adventure and political strife which ushered 
in the sixth century the best proponent is the Lesbian Al- 

1 Arch., f r. 66. « Id., f r. 7. 

»/(f., fr. 58. 

*€roiset, Histoire de la littSrature grecque (Paris, 1891), vol. ii, 
pp. 192 et seq. 
* Symonds, op, cit,, vol. i, pp. 227 et seq. 


caeus. A noble, a politician, a soldier, a traveler, a bon 
vivant, he is the product of Mytilene at the height of its 
greatest splendor. Pittacus, law-giver and one of the seven 
sages, ranks with the best of the period in the field of polit- 
ical thought. But Alcaeus represents all sides of the vigor- 
ous life of the time. He took part in the war with Athens 
over Sigeium where, like Archilochus, he lost his shield 
after an honorable defeat. After this episode he was driven 
into exile by the success of the democratic tyrants. Travels 
in Egypt followed, till he was pardoned and returned to 
home and a settled life.^ His poems of love and wine are 
best known, but they show only one side of his character. 
He was possessed by an ardent love for his cotmtry and a 
desire to fight for her even though men he regarded as 
fools had thrown her into confusion.^ He believed fully in 
the righteousness of his party's cause, and his songs of 
party strife with which he rallied his comrades are full of 
martial fire. His halls flashed with the bronze of the hel- 
mets, corselets, greaves, shields and swords of Chalcis, 
which he held ready for the day of their use.* War he re- 
garded as the allotted task of grown men, an affair befitting 
their estate.* On the youths who assumed a task not theirs 
and rushed into the first rank when danger threatened, 
recking little of themselves, he bestowed the highest honors 
that he might. For himself, Athena was polemadokos, 
giver of war.*^ " For it is glorious to die in service to 
Ares." * Yet the same man called friends out to sail on the 

* Easby-Smith, Songs of Alcaeus (Washington, 1901). 
' Botsf ord and Sihler, o/>. rtV., p. 194. 

* /Wd., p. 194. 

* Edmonds, J. M. in Classical Review ^ vol. xxx (1916), p. 100. 

* Alcaeus in Bergk, op, city vol. iii, f r. 9. 
^ Id., f r. 30. 


bay in the morning or to join in a pleasant drinking bout 
and wrote beautiful poems of spring/ The outlook of men 
was ever widening. 

Sappho, contemporary of Alcaeus, was more a product 
of the happy freedom and wealth of the social life of Myti- 
lene. She stands supreme among the poetesses of love. 

The fairest thing in all the world some say is a host of horse- 
men, and some a host of foot, and some again a navy of ships, 
but to me 'tis the heart's beloved — one of whom I would rather 
the sweet sound of her footfall and the sight of the brightness 
of her beaming face than all the chariots and armoured foot- 
men of Lydia.* 

Erotic poetry reached its culmination for this century in 
Anacreon of Teos.* His life was typical of the age. Driven 
from Teos by local disturbances he settled at Abdera in 
Thrace, where he took part in wars with the native Thra- 
cians. After his poetry became famous he spent many 
years in the court of that piratical despot and adventurer, 
Polycrates of Samos. From there he went to the court of 
Hippias at Athens. Amid scenes of splendor and glory he 
clung to the golden mean, envied not pomp and power and 
wealth, but desired tranquility and happiness above all.* 
Eros and Dionysos were his most loved divinities. In an 
epigram he described war as an evil, for it took away the 
bravest of the city's youth and left the coward in his place.* 
He did not care for the old-style poet with his tales of war. 
" I do not love the man who, drinking from a full cup, tells 
of strife and grievous war, but he who remembers to mingle 

* Botsford and Sihler, op, cit., p. 195. 
2 Ibid., p. 197. 

•Wright, History of Greek Literature (New York, 1907), pp. 102^ 
et seq, 

* Ibid,, p. 104. 

•Bergk, op, cit, Anacreon, fr. loi. 


the glorious gifts of the Muses and of Aphrodite with their 
lovely cheer." ^ In his own military experience he followed 
the precedent of Archilochus and Alcaeus by throwing away 
his shield.^ He was willing to leave war to those who 
wished to fight.* 

The broadening and deepening of the currents of intel- 
lectual life produced at the same time a Thales. This man, 
who was merchant, traveler, statesman, engineer, mathema- 
tician, astronomer and physical philosopher, was the em- 
bodiment of the best sides of Ionian life. He drew inspira- 
tion from every source, Egypt, Babylon, Lydia, and Miletus 
with its widespread commerce. What he learned he turned 
to the advantage of his fellow-countrymen and himself for 
their success in trade and in war. He apparently took an 
active part in the defence of his country against Lydia and 
Persia, and urged upon the lonians the advantages of union 
for the preservation of peace and freedom. His work as 
the fotmder of physical science is well known. It was, 
however, but a small part of his activities.* His successors, 
Anaximander and Anaximenes, confined themselves rather 
to the pursuit of philosophy, though Anaximander produced 
a map which embodied all the knowledge of the many trav- 
elers of Miletus.*^ 

The intellectual and social pleasures of prosperity did not, 
however, detract from the patriotism or fighting zeal of the 
lonians. Lack of union, not lack of bravery, drew them 
tmder the subjection of the Lydians, a people whom Herod- 
otus called the bravest and most warlike of all Asia.' 

1 Anacreon, f r. 94. ^ Id,, f r. izS. 

« Id., f r. 92. 

* Marshall, A Short History of Greek Philosophy (London, 1898) , p. 2. 
*,Herodotus, i, 74, 75, 170. 

• Marshall, op. cit., pp. 7 et seq. 
•Herodotus, i, yg. 


Lydian commercial interests demanded control of the coast 
cities. For the magnificent chariots and horsemen of the 
inland kingdom the small city-states were no match. Still 
each successive king of Lydia found himself compelled to 
reduce the Greeks again, city by city. Miletus, by a lc«ig 
resistance to Alyattes, preserved for itself independence 
and an alliance on favorable terms.* A ccnnmercial league 
which seems to have been formed under the leadership of 
Phocaea was apparently of no avail in military matters.^ 
The culmination of Lydian control came after Croesus had 
made war upon the cities singly and subdued again all but 
Miletus. He followed his conquest up by making treaties 
of alliance with the islanders and by showering favors upon 
such centers of Greek influence as the Delphic oracle. As 
a result of his desires to win Greek friendship the burden 
of his rule was so light that the cities refused to revolt at 
the request of Cyrus of Persia. After the overthrow of 
Croesus, Cyrus accordingly refused to allow them to retain 
their former arrangements with the Lydian kingdom, ex- 
cept for Miletus, which was granted its old terms. In spite 
of the fact that these cities were by far the feeblest of all the 
Greek states, with no gjeat cities save Miletus, whose support 
they lacked, they determined to resist. They fortified their 
towns, held meetings to secure united action and sent abroad 
to Sparta for aid. It was on this occasion that Thales ad- 
Vised the union of the lonians into a single state with Teos 
as its center, the cities retaining their local autonomy. Help 
was not forthcoming and unity was impossible.* Harpag^s, 
general of Cyrus, attacked and took the cities one by one. 
Though they resisted bravely and with many feats of arms, 
they were no match for the might of Persia. Their war- 

* Busolt, op, cit., vol. ii, p. 19. 

*Hill, Historical Greek Coins (New York, 1906), pp. 8, et seq. 

'Herodotus i, 170. 


riors were forced into the armies of Persia and their cities 
were placed under the control of native tyrants. 

During the period of Persian control of the mainland 
Polycrates endeavored to secure domination of the islands, 
and thence of the mainland itself. " Polycrates," said 
Herodotus, " was the first of mere human birth who con- 
ceived the design of gaining the empire of the sea and 
aspired to rule over Ionia and the islands." ^ Treachery 
put an end to himself and to his attempt. 

One more effort was made by the Asiatic Greeks to 
secure their freedom in the famous Ionian revolt, led by 
Aristagoras of Miletus.* Against the advice of Hecataeus, 
the historian, who thought Miletus too weak and Persia too 
strong,* they secured unity of action among themselves and 
were successful in getting aid from Athens after Sparta 
had refused. The burning of Sardis was followed by a de- 
feat near Ephesus, after which they dispersed to their own 
cities. Athens withdrew, tribe after tribe and city after 
city were taken, and Miletus itself was besieged. Not even 
the promise of favorable treatment won the Greeks from 
their union. Discipline in the fleet, however, could not be 
secured and they were badly defeated at Lade. Miletus fell 
and its inhabitants were sold into slavery. Though the 
cities were restored to democratic government and arbitra- 
tion was enjoined upon them for the settlement of their 
disputes, the lonians had fallen forever from their high 
estate. As the result of this subjection, the name Ionian 
became a reproach and the cultural leadership of Hellas 
followed all spirited lonians who were left, to the West. 

With Ionia in the development of art and literature, in 
wealth and luxury in early times ranked Sparta. Agricul- 

^ Herodotus iii, 122. 

' Busolt, op. £it, ii, pp. 540 et seq. 

' Herodotus v, 15. 


ity rule. There was no tribute and complete independence 
was the lot of all, save that all furnished troops to the army, 
which was under the command of the Spartan kings. This 
loosely-knit body was the military backbone of Greece, 
courted by all who desired aid. But culture had been sacri- 
ficed to military prowess.^ 

Elsewhere on the mainland culture was developing. A 
school of athletic sculpture under the spell of the games had 
developed, and the careful study of the body paved the way 
for later heights of art. Poets and poetesses flourished in 
Argos, in Megara and even in Boeotia. Of these, Theognis 
is the best known and most significant. A talented noble of 
wealth and position, he began his life under the most favor- 
able conditions, which he prayed Zeus and Apollo to main- 
tain free from evil.^ Music, poetry, wine and amours were 
his delight, knowledge his quest.* He lamented the grow- 
ing power of money which made it possible for the wealthy 
but baser element to intermarry with the well-bom.* To 
the strife between the nobility and the commercial class he 
endeavored to maintain an intellectual superiority. But 
when the blow came and the aristocrats were overthrown 
he was forced into flight, his property was seized and he 
fell into the direst poverty. He endeavored to reconcile 
himself to the loss by recourse to his Muse, though he won- 
dered at the plan of Zeus which upheld the wicked and cast 
down the righteous.*^ The time of his exile was spent fiirst 
in Thebes and Euboea. Then he followed the footsteps of 
many exiled litterateurs to Sicily. There he regained for- 
tune, took part in a war for the defence of Syracuse, secured 

^ Busolt, op, cit, vol. i, p. 610. 

* Bergk, op, cit, vol. ii, Theognis i-io. 

' Ibid., 531-4. 4 

*Ibid., 183-192. 

«^ Ibid.y 373, et seq. 


pardon and a return to his native land, and possibly lived to 
see the Persian menace sweep down upon the country. The 
widespread popularity of his poems and the readiness with 
which he was welcomed in his wanderings is evidence of 
how strong a bond of union these new poets had become. 
The man he honored most was not the warrior of Tyrtaeus 
or Archilochus, but him who remained faithful and firm, 
botmd by honor, steadfast through good and ill, impreg- 
nable alike to danger and to gain.^ War, save in defence 
of native land, seemed to him utterly useless. He went into 
it shamed by the call of the herald rather than from any 
martial longings. 

May peace and wealth possess the state, that I may revel with 
others, for evil war I do not love. Give not thine ear too much 
w^hen the herald shouts loud and far. For we do not join battle 
for our fatherland. Yet is it disgraceful when one is present 
and mounted on a swift-footed steed not to look upon tearful 

When the threat of Persian advance was hanging over 
Greece he prayed to the gods that he might be inspired to 
charm the people into fearlessness of the danger. To Apollo 
he prayed to save his city from the arrogant army of the 
Medes in spite of the disunion of the Greeks, which he 

The last gjeat state to enter upon the new life was Athens, 
though Thucydides states that Attica suffered least from 
the recurrent invasions, and the Athenians were therefore 
the first to lay aside their arms and attain conditions of 
peace.* At a very early period the whole district was 
united into the city-state of Athens, partly by peaceful per- 

^Theognis, yj-^^ * /6trf., 885-890. 

» Ibid^ 7^7^y 77Z'7^' * Thuc. i, 6. 


suasion and partly by force/ Mountain barriers discour- 
aged such expansion as Sparta was undertaking and the 
Athenian nobility turned themselves to securing control of 
the best lands of Attica itself. The ever-present necessity 
for more food than Attica produced led inevitably to com- 
mercial growth. For this an essential element was the pos- 
session of the island of Salamis which commanded the port 
of Athens and was in the control of their flourishing indus- 
trial and commercial neighbor, Megara. An attempt to take 
it resulted in a long-drawn-out guerilla warfare, in which 
the Athenians were so badly defeated that the ruling class, 
who were more interested in agriculture, forbade any one 
suggesting another effort to secure the island. The result 
was a shattering of Athenian commercial interests, which 
doubtless became a factor in the crisis which led to the laws 
of Draco and the reforms of Solon. The latter statesman 
saw the necessity and the possibilities of Athenian com- 
merce and felt the disgrace of the cowardice thus displayed. 
With his warlike elegies which he sang in the market-place 
he stirred the people up to the recapture of Salamis.^ This 
success encouraged the Athenians to further ventures over- 
seas. A desire for a share in the rich trade with the Euxine 
Sea and the advantages there to be gained in the way of 
food-supply, led to the establishment of a garrison at Sige- 
ium in the northwest comer of the Troad at the mouth of 
the Hellespont. It was not a colony but a fort for the pro- 
tection of trade. At the same time it broke the connection 
between Megara and her colonies in the Pontus.* This un- 
dertaking, in which Athens had the support of her sister 
city, Miletus, led to that war between Athens and Mytilene 
which was settled by the arbitration of Periander. Civil 

* Busolt, op, cit., vol. li, pp. 90-93- 

* Bergk, op. cit, voL ii ; Solon, f r. i ; cf, Busolt, op. cit, vol. ii, p. 247. 
8 Ibid.f vol. ii, pp. 24^254. 


troubles put an end temporarily to this movement. Salamis 
and the footing on the Hellespont were both lost/ 

The administration of Solon laid the foundation for later 
Athenian industry and commerce. He attracted to Athens 
foreign artisans and organized the Athenian coinage system 
on the Euboic standard, thereby cutting off the dependence 
of Athens on the Megarians and the ^ginetans and starting 
a feud with ^gina which was to last until the fifth century.^ 
Peisistratus built on these foundations. He established the 
peasant farmer in security and gave to Athens the backbone 
of the state. Under his guidance Athenian vase manufac- 
ture and trade expanded to wide proportions. He invited 
to his court artist and writer and prepared the way for 
Athenian leadership in thought. A new war with Mytilene 
gave him full control over Sigeium, and the foundation of 
Sestos made Athenian control over the Hellespont secure. 
His relations with the Thracian coast became later Athenian 
policy. He was on friendly terms with the Thessalians and 
the Lacedaemonians, and endeavored to secure for Athens 
leadership among the lonians through relations with the 
shrine of Delos.* 

At the end of the century the Athenians took part in the 
Ionian revolt and waged successful war against the Thebans 
for the control of Plataea and with the Chalcidians for the 
ownership of the Lelantine plain.* The people were strong, 
vigorous and warlike, looking abroad for new fields to con- 
quer, and the great days of Athens lay just ahead. 

The Greek colonies of Sicily and Italy had expanded and 
become wealthy and powerful. Here lonians who felt the 
lack of freedom under Lydian or Persian rule found that 

^ Bury, History of Greece (London, 1913), p. 196. 

* Busolt, op, cit.y vol. ii, p. 307. 

'/Wrf., § 17. 

^Ibid.y vol. ii, pp. 441, et seq. 


which they desired ; here exiles were welcomed from what- 
ever party, and Magna Graecia became the second home of 
many poets and philosophers. The wealthiest and most 
luxurious of the cities was Sybaris, which controlled the 
overland trade with western Italy. The effeminate ease and 
luxury of her citizens became a byword among the Greeks 
in later days.^ Hard by was the smaller city of Croton, re- 
nowned for the simplicity of its life, the strictness of its 
discipline and the success of its athletes. In the year 510- 
B. C. war broke out between them. Though Sybaris put 
into the field, according to tradition, an army of three hun- 
dred thousand men, the Crotoniates, led by their famous 
athlete, Milo, were successful. In seventy days Sybaris had 
fallen and been destroyed. Its inhabitants were killed, sold 
into slavery or scattered into exile.* Truphe kcd hybris had 
wrought its ruin, love of luxury and arrogance.' It was 
the classic example of a city overthrown because of loss of 
warlike vigor. Its fate brought a shock to the entire Hel- 
lenic world. When the fall of Miletus followed, the Greeks 
had learned too well the fate of a captured city. A great 
object lesson was to teach them all the evils which followed 
in the train of war. 

^ Botsford and Sihier, op. city pp. 205, et seq. 

' Grote, op, cit.^ vol. iv, p. 413. 

3 Diodorus Siculus ed. Vogel- Fischer (Leipzig, 1888-1906), xi, 90, xii^ 
9, 10; Strabo, ed. Meineke (Leipzig, 1904-9), vi, 263, 


• I 

The Persian War and Hellenic Peace 

The movements toward union and peace which appeared 
in the sixth century were to be developed into a measure 
of success by the war with Persia in the first half of the 
fifth century. Foreign danger was to unite the Greeks for 
a time. Politician and writer were to preach the doctrine 
of peace among the Hellenes and war upon the barbarian. 
The experiences of the war were to teach man most clearly 
the blessings of peace and the cruelty of war. 

The advance of the Persians found the Greeks divided 
as usual. Athens had just finished wars with Thebes and 
Chalcis and was quarreling with ^gina. Sparta, under the 
leadership of Cleomenes, had interfered in ^gina and had 
defeated Argos again. The one element of strength was 
the Peloponnesian League, which had been brought to the 
height of its power by the addition of Athens after the over- 
throw of the tyrants. On the ground of her membership in 
this League, Athens appealed to Sparta for aid when the 
forces of Darius were threatening. The story of Mara- 
Ihon needs no retelling. Athens used the period following 
for party strife, for aggression against the islanders and for 
a renewal of the war with ^gina. Not until the army of 
Xerxes was assembling were steps taken for defensive 
measures. In the autumn of 481 there assembled on the 
isthmus of Corinth a congress of deputies of all the 

patriotic states. This assembly formed an Hellenic League,, 
461] 67 


which was virtually an extension of the Peloponnesian. 
The armies of the new organization were under the com- 
mand of Sparta. Athens yielded her claims to the command 
of the fleet in the interests of harmony. Many states re- 
mained outside — Thebes, out of jealousy for Athens; 
Argos, because of her hatred of Sparta; those of Thessaly 
out of necessity, because of their exposed position. The 
western Greeks were in difficulties of their own. It was this 
alliance, however, which fought Salamis and Plataea and 
began the movements of retaliation on the other side of the 
^gean. To it were admitted the larger Asiatic and island 
cities. It remained nominally in force until the breach be- 
tween Athens and Sparta in 461. Sparta had been the back- 
bone of Hellas in the defence against Persia. As the leader 
of an organization which should unite all Hellenes in the 
^gean and free the cities of Asia Minor, however, Sparta 
was a failure. Conservatism and the menace of the helots 
dictated a narrow Peloponnesian policy. The Lacedaemon- 
ians endeavored to keep extra- Peloponnesian states defence- 
less. They were not interested in the affairs of distant Hel- 
lenes. Nor were Spartan leaders a success when they were 
not under the immediate control of the officials of the state. 
They therefore willingly surrendered to Athens the com- 
mand of the overseas forces when the lonians, already in 
separate alliance with Athens, objected to the leadership of 
Pausanias. As long as Athens remained a friend and an ally 
and busied herself in Asiatic affairs Sparta had nothing to 
fear. The result was the formation of the Delian Confed- 
eracy. Projected by Themistocles, it was organized by the 
wisdom of Aristides. It consisted of the perpetual union of 
a number of states, all of which were to be equal and inde- 
pendent, for the defence of the ^gean against Persia. There 
was to be a general congress of the members at Delos under 
the presidency of Athens, in which all members had an equal 


vote, to decide questions of peace and war. The treasury 
was established at Delos and was administered by twelve 
Athenian Hellenotamiae. The larger states furnished ships 
to the fleet ; the smaller paid contributions according to their 
resources. The task of determining the duty of each state 
was entrusted to Aristides, who fulfilled it to the satisfac- 
tion of all. Under the generalship of Cimon the work of 
the confederacy was carried on until after the battle of 
Hurymedon in 468, when the Persians were excluded from 
the Mgt^xi^ 

From the very beginning the confederacy was dominated 
by Athens. The Athenians were able to control a sufficient 
number of the small states to secure a majority in the con- 
gress. Athenians served as treasurers and managed the 
finances, collecting the payments of the members. In addi- 
tion, Athens made separate commercial treaties with the in- 
dividual states which bound them close to her. The first 
real step in the development of an Athenian empire came 
when Naxos, convinced that the danger from Persia was 
past and tired of making contributions, tried to secede from 
the alliance. Cimon put down this attempt and reduced 
Naxos to the condition of a subject state. The culmination 
of this movement was reached in the next period. 

As long as Cimon was in power the policy of the Hellenic 
league was followed: namely, war abroad and peace at 
home. To this the democratic party at Athens was op- 
posed. The failure and mistreatment by the Spartans of 
an Athenian expedition sent at the request of Sparta and 
supported by Cimon at the time of the helot revolt led to 
the overthrow of Cimon and a breach between Athens and 
Sparta. Thus the period of Hellenic peace came to an end. 
The Greeks of Sicily had been united before this time, 

1 On the history of this period cf. Busolt, op. cit.j vol. ii, pp. 557, 
et seq. ; vol. iii, pp. i, et seq. 


for the most part by the might of the two gfreat tyrants, 
Theron of Akragas and Gelon of Syracuse. These able 
men had mastered their own cities, had brought imder their 
control the neighboring cities, had bound themselves to- 
gether by marriage alliances, and had accomplished by force 
that union of Hellenes which the threat of Persia was to 
bring about in the ^gean. Together they stopped the 
armies of Carthage at Himera and secured favorable trea- 
ties of peace. Hieron, successor of Gelon, followed this 
success with the defeat of the Etruscans at Cumae in 474. 
The courts of the Sicilian tyrants were the most brilliant 
of the period. Poet and dramatist and artist found there 
all the freedom and appreciation which could be desired. 
The overthrow of the tyrannies was followed by such con- 
fusion that in 461 a congress was held of all the Sicilian 
states to compose matters and to re-establish the independ- 
ence of all the cities.^ 

The great deeds of the foreign wars in Greece and Sicily 
resulted in a wave of religious devotion, an increase in Hel- 
lenic self-confidence, which stimulated all activities but 
found its best expression in literature and art. The writers 
of the period reflect the spirit of their age, the glory of th^ 
deeds of the heroes, the value of Hellenic unity, and withal 
the horrors of war itself. 

Pindar (522-442),^ the greatest of lyric poets, was a. 
native of Thebes. Though his city Medized, he himself 
was thoroughly patriotic. Much of his life was spent in the 
courts of the Sicilian tyrants. He was an aristocrat to the 
core and delighted chiefly in the noble achievements of 
young aristocrats in the service of their states, in the games 
and in war. His extant poems, ranging in date from 503 

1 Grote, op. cit.j vol. v, pp. 236, et seq. 

^Wright, op. cit., pp. 119, et seq.; Botsford and Sihler, op. cit., pp» 
32, et seq. 


to 452 B. C, are in praise of the victors in the great games. 
He praised the victors by glorifying their heroic ancestors 
and recounting the ancient legends of their cities. 

Bacchylides (ca. 507-428), nephew of Simonides, suc- 
ceeded to the older poet's position. He, too, sang of the 
glories of Hieron. His subjects are in general the same as 
Pindar's, but they lack the deep feeling and originality of 
the master poet, graceful and delightful though they are. 
He is the last of the classical lyric poets. Drama was there- 
after to occupy the center of the literary stage. ^ 

Contemporary with these men was ^schylus, the pre- 
cursor of the new age. Native of Eleusis, of an old Eupa- 
trid family, educated as befitted a noble, in athletics, music 
and Homer, he was a follower of Cimon in his conservatism 
at home and Panhellenism abroad. He took part in the 
great battles of Marathon and Salamis, and his military 
experiences are reflected in his writings. Like the lyricists, 
he visited Sicily. His epitaph, which he is said to have 
written himself, indicated that he valued more highly his 
service to his state in war than the renown of his great con- 
tributions to the literary world. 

Here Aeschylus lies in Gela's land of corn, 

Euphorion's son, in far-off Athens born ; 

That he was valiant Marathon could show. 

And long-haired Medes could tell it, for they know.2 

iEschylus, who termed his own dramas morsels from 
Homer, followed his master in stirring pictures of war. 
The Seven against Thebes was filled, said the ancients, with 
the fire of mailed Ares.^ The heroes are pictured as men 

^Jebb, Bacchylides (Cambridge, 1905), Introduction. 

* Glover, From Pericles to Philip (New York, 1917). P- 43- 

8 Aristophanes ed. Hall (Oxford, 1002), Frogs 1021. 


of might and valor whose delight is in battle. Through the 
song of the chorus one may still hear the thunder of the 
chariots, the shriek of the whirling wheels, the moans of the 
spear-shaken air and the rattle of the stone against the 
battlements. No less thrilling is the description of Salamis 
in the Persae, the preparations of the Persians, the high- 
spirited paeans of the Greeks, the advance, the struggle, the 
confused crashing of ships, the victory of the Greeks and 
the wailing of the Persians till night put an end to the 

Yet there is little of the glory of war in the tragedies. 
Warrior himself, a participant in the sufferings and the 
triumphs of the Persian War, ^Eschylus knew full well 
the attendant hardships both to victor and to vanquished. 
The Agamemnon and the Persae present the results of war, 
the one to a people whose king is returning victorious, the 
other to a nation which suffers under ruinous defeat. Even 
when allowances have been made for the rhetorical or dra- 
matic values, enough remains to make one feel the terrible 
side of war. 

The Agamemnon opens before the return of the host 
while the king and his followers are still winning glory 
at Troy. The chorus, with an air of foreboding evil, set 
forth their sufferings. They think of those terrible grap- 
ples of the battlefield where men's strength fails and war- 
riors are crushed in the dust as the war-spears clash.^ 
Then there comes to yearning hearts in place of the brave 
man who went forth but an urn of cold pyre-ashes.^ Cly- 
temnestra pictures the calamity of the wife, who is com- 
pelled to sit alone in the house apart from her lord and is 

1 Aeschylus, Tragoediae, eel. Sidgwick (Oxford, 1899) Seven against 
Thehes, IS2 et scq., 203 et seq. ; 353 et seq. 

^ Id., Agamemnon, 63-65. 
8 Ihid., 437-44- 


driven many times by heart-shaking rumors to the verge 
of suicide/ In their grief the people of the outraged nation 
execrate their rulers for the woe they have brought upon 

The war-god who exchangeth 

Men's lives for gold, 
And where the mad spear rangeth 

The scales doth hold, 
Sends back to hearts that yearn 
For a brave man's return, 
Filling one small sad urn 

Pyre ashes cold. 

With sighs love tells their story: — 

In battle bold 
Was one : one fell with glory 

With garments rolled 
In blood: — and each man died 
All for another's bride ! 
In whispered pain and pride 

Is the tale told. 

While here grief's hushed defiance 

Chides bitter-souled 
Atreus' avenging scions. 

There lapped in mould, 
They, round the embattled steep, 
In death yet comely sleep; 
The land they won — and keep — 

Doth them enfold.^ 

Amid these plaints there comes the herald of the return- 
ing army. He, too, has his tale of the hardships of a sol- 
dier's life, the more vivid when one remembers that it is a 
soldier whb writes them. 

1 Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 859-865. 

^ Ibid., 437-455. Way, Aeschylus in English Verse (London, 1908). 


Of travail might I tell, bleak bivouac, 

Of iron-bound coasts, hard-lying, groans on g^'oans — 

Who knows how many? — through the straitened days. 

Then came new ills on land to vex us more : 

Hard by our foes* walls through the night we lay; 

And dews from heaven and reek from the marshy mead 

Down-drizzled, clammy-cleaving, rotting vest. 

And making man's hair like the wild beast's fell. 

But O to tell of winters that slew birds. 

By snows of Ida made intolerable, 

Or heat, when on his noon-day couch, the sea 

Unrippled sank and slept, and no breath stirred. 

Yet is his attitude that of the victor. His joy at his return, 
home overcomes all other thoughts. 

What boots to grieve o'er these? Our toils are past. 
Why of those wasted lives take nice accounts? 

The Argive host is victorious, the gain outweighs the loss- 
At his tale of victory the people, too, lay aside their mis- 

This comfort comes not to the vanquished. The poet de- 
scribes the scene when 

With clouded brow a herald brings 
Hideous disaster from a field of rout, 
And speaks a nation stricken with one wound, 
Speaks many a light of many a home doom-banned 
By Ares' twy-lashed scourge of fire and steel, 
Twin slaughter-curse, blood-boultered chariot pair.2 

To the Persian wives and mothers who have been sighing" 
and counting the days till their spearmen shall return, there 
comes the messenger of Xerxes with his tale of defeat and 
death, and grief overwhelms the land.^ The land cries out 
for her young sons killed and the pall of death covers 

^Way, op. cit., Agamemnon 555-584. 

2 Ibid., 638-643. 

^ Aeschylus, Persae 44 61-64, 532-547- 


it/ No word of victory lightens the gloom but each suc- 
cessive report tells of new losses and brings fresh sorrows.^ 

A worse fate than this of the Persians ^schylus ascribes 
to the Trojans in the Agamemnofiy^ and threatens for the 
Thebans, should. the Seven take the city, the plundering of 
wealth, the destruction of earth's precious gifts, the ruin of 
an ancient city, the death of warriors, the murder of help- 
less babes and the slavery, the terrible fate of the captive 
matrons and the maids.* In this all too vivid picture of a 
scene which Homer himself deplored has not the poet in 
mind the destruction of Miletus and of Sybaris, and may he 
not be protesting against such a survival of barbarism ? 

Though the dramatist regards the dead hero as still 
comely and despises the cowardly, skulking stay-at-home, 
^gisthus womanlike in heart,^ yet he realizes the other 
side of the picture, the danger to the state in the loss of 
the flower of its manhood. As long as its men remain, 
he writes, its bulwark is sure, but when they are gone its 
strength is brought low.® So the Suppliant Maidens pray 
for Argos that Ares, bane of humankind, may never pluck 
the flower of her youth and consume the choicest of her 

War in defence of native land, ^Eschylus regards as jus- 
tified; war on behalf of suppliants- as ordered by divine 
law.^ His own part in the defence of Hellas he esteemed 
.as the greatest act of his life.® Of wars in good cause, wars 

1 Aeschylus, Persae 710, 640, 673. ^ Ibid., 909 et seq. 

3 Id., Agamemnon 326-9. 

* Id., Seven against Thebes 321 et seq. 

^* Id., Agamemnon 1224-5, Choehhoroi, 305. 

«/(/., Persae 103-5, 349- 

^ Id., Suppliants 661-5. 

® Id., Suppliants, passim. 

^ Vide supra, p. 71. 


with foreign foes, thuratoi, Athena in her wonderful speech 
in the Eumenides promised the Athenians enough to satisfy 
those in whom fierce love of glory burned, and assured 
them that in the glorious strife of wars she would not allow 
the city to be uncrowned amid the peoples.^ Useless wars 
the poet would seem to condemn ; such wars as the Trojan, 
fought for a woman; the Persian, whose foundation was 
arrogance of conquest; the Theban, caused by brothers'^ 
quarrels; above all, civil strife brought on by passion. Of 
these disputes Ares, who sells men's lives for gold, is a 
bitter arbitrator.^ No witnesses or payments of money 
does he accept, but by the death of warriors he decides the 

In the path of justice and moderation ^schylus finds the 
solution of the problem. By righteous dealings at home 
and with aliens the government which seeks the common 
weal may keep the state without calamity in peace.* 

Fame above measure given 

Brings man but woe : 
Full in his eyes Zeus* levin 

Flasheth its glow. 
Let mine unenvied weal 
Nor crush with armed heel 
Cities, nor conquest feel 

Nor thralldom know.^ 

Bacchylides and Pindar represent the culmination of the 
lyric Muse in their attitude toward war as well as in liter- 
ature. The few odes and fragments of Bacchylides which 
survive are eloquent in praise of peace. He disliked to sing 

1 Aeschylus, Eumenides 858-869, cf. Way, op. cit. 

^Id.y Agamemnon 448, Persae, passim, Seven against Thebes 934 
et seq. ; Eumenides 858, et seq. 

^ Id., Seven against Thebes 934, Agamemnon 4S7f Suppliants, 933-7. 

^ Id., Suppliants 698-703. 

' Way, op. cit., Agamemnon 467-474. 


of war ; for " the voice of the lyre, the clear strains of 
choral song accord not with the grievous stress of battle as 
the clash of arms hath no place amid festivity/' ^ He 
wrote, too, of the uncertainty of war, which discerns no 
kinsmen in the fight but sends the death-dealing missiles 
blindly against the foe.^ In a lyric treatment of the em- 
bassy of Menelaus and Odysseus to Troy he represented the 
Trojans as lifting their hands to the gods in prayer for rest 
from their woes. Menelaus showed to them the path of 
safety from war in the pursuit of unswerving Justice, at- 
tendant to Eunomia (good laws well obeyed) and prudent 
Themis. " Happy the land whose sons take her to dwell 
with them." ^ In one of the most beautiful of his poems he 
sets forth the manifold blessings of peace. 

Mighty Peace brings forth wealth for mortals and the full 
bloom of honey-tongued song; her gift it is that the fleshy 
thighs of oxen are burned to the gods in the yellow flame on 
the carven altars and the youths delight themselves with athletic 
feats and fluites and revels. Upon the iron-bound handles of 
the shields the spiders weave their webs and rujt destroys the 
spears and the two-edged swords. No blast of brazen trumpet 
is heard nor is sleep of gentle spirit which comforteth the 
heart at dawn stolen from the eyelids. The streets are filled 
with joyous feasting and songs in praise of youths flame forth.* 

Pindar, though his praise of victors in the games led him 
often to recitals of the glorious deeds of their ancestors in 
ancient wars and of the martial valor of the Sicilian princes 
themselves, nevertheless rejoiced in the fact that at the 
sound of the lyre even violent Ares left aside his sharp- 

1 Jebb, Bacchylides xiii, 12-16. 
*Ibid., V, 127-35. 
^Ibid., xiv, 40-56. 
^ Ibid.y fr. I. 


pointed spears and warmed his heart at the shrine of the 
Muses/ He proclaimed himself as one not fond of strife 
or contention,^ and his Muse would seem to object to ex- 
travagant praise of warriors/ A citizen of Thebes, whichr 
had Medized, he had not the background of that personal 
service in the Persian war which had fired yEschylus. The- 
end of the war meant to him the removal of the Tantalus- 
stone which had hung over Hellas/ " War may indeed be 
sweet to those who know it not," he said, " but once ex- 
perienced it becomes a source of dread." " On the other 
hand, he gloried in the praise of peace. " O, Kindly Peace, 
Daughter of Righteousness, who'makest a nation gfreat, 
holding the supreme keys of councils and of wars — ^thoir 
knowest alike how to give and to withhold gentleness in due 
season.'' ^ Any citizen, he proclaimed, who desired pros- 
perity for his state must seek the radiant light of high- 
minded Peace. ^ Corinth and ^gina he praised especially^ 
because in those cities were found the secure base on which 
cities rest — Justice and Peace, dispensers of wealth to men.* 
He prayed for the men of .^tna as being above the desire- 
for gain, that Zeus should shield them from wars and g^rant 
them glory in good laws and in the festivals.® 

The poet stood by no means for peace at any price. 
Rather Peace herself roused to relentless wrath, he thought,, 
had crushed the might of the Persians at Salamis and of 

* Pindar, ed. Schroeder in Bergk, op. cit., i, Pythian, i, 10-13. 

2 Id,, 01. vi, 19. 

^ Id., 01. vi, 21. 

^ Id., Isihnian vii, 5 ct seq. 

5 Id., fr. no. 

^ Id., Pythian viii, i et seq. 

"^ Id., fr. 109. 

^Id.j 01. xiii, 6-7) viii, i, 22. 

^ Id., Nemean jx, 28-33. 


the Etruscans at Cumae.^ He rejoiced in the deeds of 
Athens and -^gina and of the Sicilians in their struggles 
against the foreign foe. In later life he praised the deeds 
and mourned the death of Thebans who had fought against 
the aggressive force of Athens.^ To those who had died 
fighting for native land, he accorded the highest honors that 
were in his power to bestow. 

Yet there remaineth renown for valiant men. For let who- 
soever in the great cloud of war keep from his beloved country 
the shower of blood bringing destruction upon the enemy's host 
know of a surety that he increaseth the renown of the race of 
his fellow-citizens greatly both living and dead.^ 

To those who survive such deeds of righteousness in youth 
he promised in old age a day of calm.* 

The Ionian Revolt and the Persian Wars produced a 
very different reaction in Heraclitus, the recluse philos- 
opher of Ephesus.^ He had seen the downfall of Ionian 
freedom and character and the growth of power of the suc- 
cessful leaders of the European Greeks. This transforma- 
tion seemed to him the result of war. The warrior, he de- 
clared, received the highest honors.^ Gods and men united 
to glorify him. He became god while the weakling re- 
mained man, preserved his freedom while the rest became 
slaves.^ The philosopher attacked the people of his own 
city bitterly as utterly base and worthless seekers of self- 
interest alone. ^ " It is clear from the drift of Heraclitus' 

1 Pindar, 01. xiii, 8-12.. 

^/d, fr. j6, 77) Pythian i, 72-74; Isthmian vi, 31 et seq. 

8 Id., f r. 78 ; Isthmian v, 26-30. 

* Id.y Nem, ix, 44. 

* Gomperz, Greek Thinkers, 4 vols. (London, 1906), vol. i, p. 59 et seq. 
•Diels, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (3d ed. Berlin, 1912), fr. 24. 
V&id., fr. 53. ^Ihid.y fr. 121. 


argument that he conceived war as testing and preserving 
the qualities of mankind, as making a distinction between 
the competent and the incompetent, as founding the state 
and organizing society." ^ These ideas he carried into his 
explanation of the universe and he enunciated the natural 
law of strife. " We must recognize," he said, " that war is 
common to all things, justice is strife, and all things come 
through strife and necessity." ^ 


The Age of Pericles 

The breach between Athens and Sparta in 461 resulted 
in the division of eastern Hellas into two opposing camps, 
between which strife followed for hegemony. Athens 
under the leadership of Pericles, the head of the im- 
perialistic democratic party, started forthwith on a career 
of aggrandizement. The Athenians, to secure control of 
the lucrative trade with the west, took charge of the helots 
who escaped as a result of the revolt * and settled them in 
Naupactus, at the mouth of the Corinthian Gulf. An alli- 
ance with the democrats of Megara on the Isthmus of 
Corinth was then secured. To secure an outpost against 
Sparta she allied herself with Argos. Her own position in 
the iEgean was assured by the conquest of iEgina and by 
the building of the Long Walls. Sparta had countered by 
aiding the Thebans in the re-establishment of the Boeotian 
League. Athens answered that manoeuvre by the defeat o£ 
the Thebans and the formation of a continental federation, 
consisting of the cities of Boeotia, of Phocis and eastenm- 
Locris and the Achaean towns on the Gulf of Corinth with- 
close affiliation with Thessaly. Athens was well on her wa}r' 

^Gomperz, op. cit., p. 72. 
* Heraclitus, f rs. 53, 80. 
3 Vide supra, p. 69. 


to a control of all Hellas. At this juncture came an oppor- 
tunity to add to her spheres of influence the third of the 
^eat sources of food supply for Greece, Egypt. The other 
two, the Euxine region and Sicily, were already under her 
control. Egj^t had revolted against Persia and to the rebels 
Athens sent aid. It proved to be too great an undertaking 
for the Egyptians and too much of a strain on the resources 
of Athens. The revolt failed and two Athenian fleets were 
destroyed. In the meantime efforts of Pericles in the Corin- 
thian Gulf had not been altogether successful; Argos had 
made peace with Sparta, which left that city a free hand 
against Athens. Persia, too, was in a position to cause more 
trouble. The outcome was that Athens recalled Cimon 
from exile, obtained through his influence a five years' truce 
with Sparta, and sent him off on a final expedition against 
the Persians. On the island of Cyprus the Athenians won 
a victory over the Persians but Cimon died of disease dur- 
ing the campaign. Athens had exhausted her energies in 
these distant struggles; her forces were needed at home. 
There followed, then, as a natural result, negotiations with 
Persia. While no formal treaty was procurable, a verbal 
agreement was reached for the cessation of strife. This 
worked to the advantage of both parties in the trade that 
developed under the Athenians. 

The forces which Athens had at her disposal were not 
equal to the task of unifying Hellas by force. Pericles 
tried to attain his goal, then, by peaceful means. He pro- 
posed a conference to meet at Athens, to consider measures 
for the rebuilding of the shrines destroyed by the Persians, 
the paying of the vows due to the gods, and " concerning 
the sea, that all might sail it fearlessly and keep the peace." ^ 
This attempt to put Hellas on a sound footing of religious 

1 Plutarch, trans, by Clough (New York, 1910), Pericles 17. 


and commercial unity under the leadership of Athens was 
blocked by the watchful jealousy of Sparta. In 447 a 
crisis suddenly developed. A defeat of a small Athenian 
force at Coronea was followed by the revolt of all Boeotia 
and the continental federation collapsed. The next year 
a Spartan force invaded Attica and at the same time 
Megara and Euboea rebelled. Pericles managed to save 
the day ; the Spartans withdrew and the Euboean revolt was 
suppressed, but Megara was lost. Athens, exhausted, was 
compelled to make peace on terms which restored in gen- 
eral the conditions existing prior to 461. Peace was made 
for thirty years, extending to the allies of both parties on 
the basis of the status quo. Athens thus abandoned all 
claim to her continental possessions except to Naupactus 
and Plataea. Her maritime empire, however, was acknowl- 
edged. Neither party was to interfere with the allies of the 
other but each might seek allies among neutrals. Hellas 
was thus divided into two fairly well-balanced parts. To 
keep the peace between them it was agreed that trade should 
be free to all, and furthermore that all disputes should be 
settled by arbitration, which by this time was regarded as 
an ancient custom. No provision was made, unfortunately, 
as to the means or methods to be employed in arranging for 
this judicial proceeding. It was left to the honor of the 
states concerned. Though the situation thus contained 
seeds of future strife, it appeared that for a time at least 
the problems of Hellas had been settled. In place of the 
domination of one power a balance had been established 
with measures intended to prevent its upset. 

Pericles made use of the period of peace which followed 
to consolidate the Athenian Empire. Gradually her allies in 
the Delian Confederacy had been reduced to subjection 
until finally only Samos, Chios and Lesbos were left in a 
position of independence. The treasury was moved to 


Athens after the disaster in Egypt; Athena became the 
protectress of the organization in place of Apollo; the 
Delian Congress fell into disuse, and the Athenian assembly 
settled measures relating to the empire. The empire was 
divided into tribute districts and quadrennial assessments 
were established, with provision for appeal to Athens. 
Legal cases of major importance were required to be sent 
to Athens for trial. Self-interest was the binding force 
which held the empire together. Freedom from foreign 
and domestic strife aided the development of trade and in- 
dustry and produced prosperity. Athenian administration 
of legal matters assured justice to all and tended to legal 
assimilation. The Athenian policy of settling Athenian 
citizens at various places within the empire, while a source 
of grievance to the allies, was nevertheless a potent Atticiz- 
ing force. The strongest element of union, however, was 
the maintenance of democracy in all the subject cities. 
The empire was an organization for the perpetuation of 

With all its excellent purposes, however, this system con- 
tained fatal weaknesses. The exclusion of the allies from 
representation in the government produced a tendency to 
revolt. It violated the most precious principle of Hellenic 
political philosophy — the right of every state, no matter 
how small, to eleutheria kai autonomia, freedom and self- 
government. Oligarchs everywhere opposed the empire 
and sought its overthrow. In 440 a revolt broke out in 
Samos which was put down after considerable difficulty 
w^ith a great deal of cruelty. Athens was still the master 
of the situation. The leader of the anti-imperialistic 
party in Athens itself had been ostracized shortly be- 
fore. Corinth had prevented Peloponnesian interference 
in the Samian revolt for commercial reasons. No one 
seemed strong enough or willing to break down Athenian 


power in the ^gean, and Pericles was able to devote time 
and money to the beautification and glorification of his 
city, to make it the cultural leader of Hellas.^ 

The only writers of this golden age of Hellas who ex- 
press any opinions on the subject of peace and war are the 
dramatist Sophocles (496-406 B. C.) and the historian 
Herodotus (ca. 484-425 B. C). The former in his long 
life spanned the period of the rise and the fall of the power 
of his city. As a boy he took part in the celebrations over 
the victory of Salamis. The son of a wealthy manufac- 
turer of munitions, he was able to devote himself to the 
pursuit of letters and to the service of the state, whose 
praises he sang so eloquently. Though of no great ability 
in public affairs, he was chosen as one of the generals in the 
Samian War, served a term as a treasurer of the empire, 
and in his old age acted as a commissioner to reorganize 
the empire after the defeat of the Sicilian expedition. He 
gained his highest glory as a finished master of the dramatic 
art. In enjoyment of a less troubled life and of a gentler 
spirit than his predecessor iEschylus, he was less inclined 
to solve the great problems of the life of man. In his more 
reasoned attitude towards the world, and above all in his 
devotion to the service of the state and its gods, he was 
closer to the people, a true interpreter of his period.^ 

To this easy-going, eukolos, as Aristophanes called him, 
gentleman of Athens, who received his support from the 
manufacture of arms, the problem of peace and war did 
not appeal; he offered no solution. Only occasionally do 
references to war appear in his dramas. When the subject 
did arise, however, he was vehement in his opposition. He 
condemned Ares, a blind monster who stirred up all evil 

^This survey of the history of the period is based on Botsford's 
Hellenic History in manuscript, cf. Busolt, op, cit, vol. iii. 

2 Wright, op. cit.y pp. 216, et seq, Botsford and Sihler, op. cit.j p. 34. 


things/ On several occasions he pointed out the evil effects 
for the state, since war took the best of the young men and 
left the weaklings. " The well-bom and the good Ares 
loves to snatch, while he who is bold in tongue, fleeing from 
danger, is free from harm, for Ares careth not for the 
coward." ^ The chorus of warriors in the Ajax^ longing 
for the end of the long years of woe around Troy, recount 
their hardships and deprivations and curse the man who by 
his toils first taught the Greeks to league themselves for 
war in hateful arms. " Yea, he it was who wrought the 
ruin of men." ' In the Trachiniae, Deianeira expresses 
deep pity for those helpless and innocent sufferers, the 
women captives, so brutally treated and carried off into 
slavery, " ill-fated exiles, homeless and fatherless in a for- 
eign land." * Far better thought the poet that all wars 
should cease. He counseled prudence in the choice of war. 
To those who made war on behalf of suppliants, Zeus would 
give the victory, for it was an honorable thing, but useless 
war must be avoided.' He pictured the joy at Thebes, 
the night-long dance and song, when the end of the trial of 
war had come and Thebes was safe from destruction.® Yet 
this same dramatist was one of the generals who brought 
about the subjection and punishment of the revolting 

Herodotus, bom in Halicamassus, exiled from his native 
city, a great traveler, was possessed of broad Panhellenic 

* Jebb- Pearson, The Fragments of Sophocles, 3 vols. (Cambridge, 

'Sophocles Tragoediaey ed. Dindorf-Mekler (Leipzig, 1912), Philoc- 
ietes 435-6; fr. 554, fr. 724. 
^Id., Ajax 1 185- 12 10. 

* Id., Trachiniae 2ig^yy2. 

^ Id., Oedipus Coloneus 380, 1045- 1098. 
^Ihid.j 1 19- 126. 


sympathies, somewhat colored by a predilecti(Mi for Athens.^ 
The historian of the Persian Wars and recorder of so many 
of the early wars of Hellas, he seldom expressed an opinion 
on the general subject of war. The Trojan war he re- 
garded as without sufficient cause. Yet he felt that it lay 
at the beginning of all the later strife between Europe and 
Asia.* To war among the Greeks he objected. He praised 
the Athenians for yielding their right to command the fleet 
at the great congress at Corinth in order to avoid inter- 
necine struggle. " Herein they judged rightly. For in- 
ternal strife is a thing as much worse than war carried on 
by a united people as war itself is worse than peace." * In 
one short sentence he delivered a terrible condemnation of 
war. " Since in war fathers bury their sons, while in peace 
sons bury their fathers, no one is so senseless as to choose 
war in place of peace." * 

1 Botsford and Sihler, op, cit., pp. 21, et seq, 
'Herodotus i, 3, 4. 
•/(/., viii, 3. 

The Peloponnesian War 

The Thirty Years' Peace put an end to open hostilities 
between Athens and Sparta, but it failed to settle the fun- 
damental and vexing questions of rivalry and to remove 
the mutual bad feeling and distrust. The balance was too 
delicate. To avoid giving Sparta any occasion for opposi- 
tion, Pericles departed from his earlier aggressive policy to 
one of conservation and consolidation. The first step in 
the direction of aggrandizement was certain to be chal- 
lenged. Events and the exigencies of Athenian trade and 
industry forced the leaders of Athens into such a step and 
trouble followed. 

The Megarian decrees formed the first piece of renewed 
aggression on the part of Athens. A small, over-populated 
state, once of great commercial importance, Megara had 
sunk to the position of a second-rate industrial city. How- 
ever, her farmers furnished vegetables and meat to the 
Athenian markets, and her wares, which were good, made 
her merchants strong competitors of the Athenian manu- 
facturers and tradesmen. In response to local demands for 
protection the Athenian assembly passed a decree excluding 
the Megarians from the markets of the empire. The Athe- 
nians had resented the withdrawal of Megara from their 
federation and probably hoped to force the Megarians into 
subjection that they might regain the favorable position on 
the Gulf of Corinth. This decree meant financial ruin and 
starvation to the Megarians and served as a warning to any 
481] 87 


other state of the Spartan alliance which might block the 
Athenians. It aroused much apprehension on the part of 
other commercial states, particularly of Corinth/ 

The Corcyraean episode added another element to Corin- 
thian unrest at the increasing power of Athens. Corcyra, 
a colony of Corinth, but one of the few remaining inde- 
pendent naval powers, finding herself at war with Corinth, 
appealed to Athens for aid. They had cogent arguments — 
their navy, which would be a valuable addition to the Athe- 
nian fleet, and the control which they were able to exercise 
over the trade route to Sicily. In vain did the Corinthians 
argue that the true path of expediency is the path of right. 
Athenian refusal of the Corcyrean offer meant the strengfth- 
ening of the only important naval rival of Athens and a 
loss of prestige to Athens itself if it yielded to the desires 
of Corinth. To avoid any infraction of the peace the Athe- 
nians concluded a defensive alliance with Corcyra. In the 
resulting war the Corinthians were worsted.^ The enmity 
thus aroused between Athens and Corinth was increased by 
a minor difficulty at Potidaea.^ 

The crisis in Hellenic affairs and the test of the Thirty 
Years' Peace came when the Corinthians, fully aroused, in- 
vited the envoys of the Peloponnesian League to meet at 
Sparta to consider the situation.* The grievances were 
submitted to the Spartan assembly. Thucydides made use 
of the situation to draw a comparison between the Spartans, 
conservative, reluctant to assume the aggressive and willing 
to take defensive action only when absolutely necessary, 

^Aristophanes, Acharnians, 515 et seq., cf. Grundy, Thucydides and 
the History of his Age (London, 1911), ch. iii. Meyer, Geschi£hte des 
Alterthums, vol. iv (Berlin, 1901), pp. 288 et seq. 

' Thucydides, i, 33 et seq. Meyer, ol^. cit., vol. iv, p. 282. 

'Thucydides, i, 56. 

* Grundy, op, cit., ch. xv. 


and the Athenians, revolutionary, always on the alert to 
seize the advantage, ready to risk all to gain their ends. 
They were bom, said the Corinthian ambassadors, neither 
to have peace themselves nor to allow it to other men/ 
The Corinthians made the veiled threat that if their plea 
met with no success they would turn elsewhere for aid. 
Sparta was in this way forced into action. Athenians pres- 
ent endeavored to prevent such a result. They recounted the 
glorious deeds of Athens in the past. They explained the 
establishment of their empire and justified it on the ground 
of necessity. They pointed out the risks involved in war 
and called upon the Spartans to submit the disputes to arbi- 
tration according to the treaty.* 

Archidamus, the conservative king of Sparta, counseled 
delay. He supported the Athenian demand for arbitration, 
pointing out the absence of a real cause, the superiority of 
the Athenians in the materials of war and in money, and 
the uncertainty of the issue.* The war party, however, was 
the stronger. They realized that the basic issue was not 
the immediate charges against Athens but the existence of 
the Athenian empire itself, which was not a debatable ques- 
tion. " Let no one tell us that we should take time to think 
when we are suffering injustice," said the Ephor. " Lace- 
daemonians, prepare for war, as the honor of Sparta de- 
mands.'' * It was voted, then, that the Athenians were 
guilty of an infraction of the treaty.** 

At the assembly of the league which followed at Sparta 
the keynote of the war was sounded. Athens was a menace 

* Thucydides 1, 68 et seq. 
' Id.f i, 73 et seq. 
8 Id., i, 80 et seq. 
*/(/., i, 86. 
» Id., i, 87. 


to all. Some states she already ruled. If from a love of 
peace and ease the Peloponnesians failed to make war upon 
her, she would soon dominate the rest. It was a war to 
assure peace to all Hellenes. " We are fighting for the lib- 
erty of Hellas. On every ground we are right in going to 
war." ^ The argument was unassailable. The league voted 
for war. A series of minor demands were made upon 
Athens, followed by a peremptory order for the dissolution 
of the empire.^ 

The Athenians refused to yield. The least concession 
would be a confession of wrong-doing or of weakness. 
Pericles regarded the war as inevitable and felt that Athens 
was ready. Acting on his advice they made counter-propo- 
sitions to Sparta, put the onus of blame for the beginning 
of the war upon that city by offering arbitration " upon fair 
terms according to the treaty, well aware that war was at 
hand, anxious for peace, but ready and willing to defend 
themselves." ^ 

Arbitration had failed in its crucial test as a means for 
the settling of disputes. Had there been provision for a 
proper tribunal and regular procedure in the treaty the 
quarrel might not have been brought to a head. Such a 
body would have been difficult to secure. There was no 
state powerful enough to enforce its decisions on either 
party and at the same time sufficiently without prejudice to 
act as arbiter. The Delphic Amphictyony was too much in 
the control of the Peloponnesians to be impartial. Further- 
more, public opinion did not support the appeal to a judicial 
decision. The enforcement of the agreement to arbitrate 
was left by the treaty to the honor and the religious scruples 

^ Thucydides i, 1 19 et seq., 123. 

2 Meyer, op. cit.j vol. iv, pp. 294 et seq. 

' Thucydides i, 140 et seq. 


of the contracting parties themselves. When the issue came 
it was found to be unarbitrable. The existence of the Athe- 
nian empire was not a debatable question. Spartan fear 
and Corinthian jealousy of Athenian expansion could not 
be submitted to a tribunal. Considerations of individual 
expediency founded on fear or ambition were more power- 
ful than the most binding of sacred oaths. 

All Hellas was excited by the coming conflict. Prodigies 
and prophecies abounded.^ Enthusiasm was manifest on 
both sides. Outside of the Athenian empire the war was 
extremely popular and the Spartans were hailed as the 
liberators of Hellas. The Spartan youth were eager for the 
excitement of war.^* Nor was this feeling confined to 
Sparta. The Athenian young men gladly exchanged soft 
cloaks and snow-white slippers, flowing ringlets, baths and 
oil, for the breastplate and the greaves, and dropped the 
games of the banquet for the greater game of war, to fight 
for gods and country as their fathers had fought before 
them.^ In the defence of the city all parties were united. 
In the Children of Heracles, written in 430, Euripides 
warned the hated Peloponnesian invaders that Athens would 
not brook dictation. 

For in brave men's eyes 
The honor that fears shame is more than life.* 

He warned them of the power of Athens. 

*Thucydides ii, 8. 


8 Hermippus fr. 2, ed. Meineke, Fragmenta Comicorum Graecorum 
(Berlin, 1839-1857). Aristophanes, Knights 576 et seq. 

*Way, Tragedies of Euripides (London, 1912), Children of HeracleSy 
199 et seq., cf. Decharne, Euripides and the Spirit of his Dramas trans. 
by Loeb (London, 1905), p. 128 ^^ seq. 


Peace love I well but I warn thee, 

O tyrant, treacherous-souled, 

Though thou march to the gates of our hold. 

Not the crown of thy hopes shall adorn thee. 

Not for thine hand the war spear alone 

Nor the brass on the buckler hath shone ! 

O thou that in battle delightest, 

Trouble not, trouble not with thy spear 

The one that the Graces make brightest 

Of cities : — but dread thou and forbear. * 

In the spring of 431 the Spartan king Archidamus pre- 
pared his forces for an invasion of Attica. Pericles cotin- 
tered by bringing all the Athenians within the Long Walls 
and thus avoided a decisive battle on land, while the fleet was 
ravaging the Peloponnesian coasts. The suffering among, 
the Athenians, most of whom were small farmers unused 
to city life, was great, and their enmity toward Sparta was 
increased by the destruction of their crops and their olive 
orchards. The plague which ravaged Athens added to the 
general discomfort and brought the peace party temporarily 
into power. Pericles triumphed over their attacks, but the 
following year himself died of the disease. His place as 
leader of the people was taken by a new type of men, prod- 
ucts of the people, like Cleon, the tanner, and Hyperbolus^^ 
the lamp-maker.^ 

The invasion of Attica in the year 427 Thucydides re- 
garded as unusually severe.^ As a result the peace party 
gained new courage. The wealthier noble class had suf- 
fered particularly. They had lost their fair estates in the 
country, with all their houses and rich furniture; their 
pleasures were restricted in the city ; * the exigencies of 

^ Way, op. cit., Children of Heracles, 371-380. 

* Grundy, op. cit., pp. 333 et seq. Meyer, op. cit., vol. iv, pp. 307 et seq^ 
' Thucydides iii, 26. 

* Id.f ii, 65. 

487] ^^^ Peloponnesian war 93 

war had led to the imposition of a property tax, which fell 
upon them with heavy weight; ^ and they were bitterly op- 
posed to the new developments of the democracy. The 
center of their opposition was in the oligarchic clubs*^ The 
small farmer, though his hatred of Sparta was so strong 
that he refused to support any movement for peace and 
-demanded revenge for the destruction of his vineyards and 
orchards,^ had grown weary of the cramped and confused 
life in the city and was longing for the end of the war.* 
Of these people, the comic poets, in particular Aristophanes, 
were the spokesmen. In the AcJtarnianSy Aristophanes made 
a bitter attack on the war party. He treated the causes of 
the war as trivial,** admitted and joined in the common 
hatred of the Spartans, but claimed that they were not to 
blame for the beginning of the war.® He felt apparently 
that the basic issues could best be settled by an honorable 
and lasting peace. He held up to ridicule the professional 
warrior, whom he accused of prolonging the war that he 
might be chosen for commands and thus secure full pay.*^ 
The disastrous effects of war on the Athenian farms, the 
evil results of the interference with trade, both for the 
Athenians, who were deprived of the many products of 
Boeotia and of Megara, and for the Megarians and Boeo- 
tians, whom he represented as in a condition of starvation, 
he contrasted with the manifold advantages of peaceful 
cultivation and commerce.® In a most delightful way he 

* Glover, op. cit, p. no. * Ibid.y p. in. 

* Arist. Acharn. 182 et seq., 228 et seq. 
^ Ihid,y 32 et seq. 

*^ Ibid.y 524 et seq., 509 et seq. 
^Ihid,y 5 13 ^t seq. 

^ Ibid., 572 et seq., S97- Croiset, Aristophanes and the Political Parties 
4it Athens, trans, by Loeb (London, 1909) » PP. 58 et seq, 

* Arist. Acharn. 623 et seq. 


Opposed to the pictures of the hardships of the soldier's life 
the picture of the man who has secured peace and may de- 
vote himself to the couch and soft cloaks, eat thrushes and 
choice meats, drink his wine and enjoy his pleasures/ 

Off to your duties my heroes bold, 

Different truly the paths ye tread ; 

One to drink with wreaths on his head; 

One to watch and shiver with cold, 

Lonely the while his antagonist passes 

The sweetest of hours with the sweetest of lasses.* 

The man of peace returns from the banquet with head dizzy 
from wine and a song on his lips. The warrior comes back 
from his vigil wotmded, dizzy-headed from a fall on the 
rocks, murmuring a prayer to the Healer.' The play was 
an appeal to the farmers to support the movement for peace. 
All of Hellas was in confusion as a result of the war. 
In most of the cities, factions had arisen. The democratic 
leaders were endeavoring to establish or to assure their 
power by appealing to the Athenians, and the leaders of the 
oligarchs to the Lacedaemonians. Party strife brought 
many terrible calamities; anarchy and violence, crime and 
perfidy were rife; religion and oaths were forgotten.* The 
practices of war were hardened by the intensity of feeling. 
Sailors who fell into Spartan hands were killed forthwith 
and the Athenians retaliated in kind. When Plataea fell the 
Spartans put to death all the men who remained and sold the 
women and children into slavery with no softening of the 
ancient custom.^ After the defeat of the oligarchic revolt 
in Mytilene the Athenians, on the motion of Cleon, voted to 

^ Arist. Acharn. 1083 et seq. 

* Rogers, Aristophanes, Acharnians (London, 1910), 1143 et seq. 

^Ibid.f 1 190 et seq. 

*Thucydides iii, 82. 

^Ihid.y ii, 6y\ iii, 68; cf. Glover, op. cit., p. 134. 


put all male citizens to death. They reconsidered this action, 
and on the ground of better policy killed only the most 
guilty.^ Against the general policy of Cleon towards the 
allies as exemplified in this affair, and in a later increase of 
the tribute, the comic poets protested, Aristophanes in the 
Babylonians, for which he was unsuccessfully prosecuted,^ 
and Eupolis in the Poleis in which he represented the cities 
as appearing in person and begging for relief.* 

The capture of the Spartans at Pylos in 425 furnished an 
opportunity for peace. The Spartans offered peace, alli- 
ance and friendly relations. " Let us be reconciled and, 
choosing peace instead of war ourselves, let us give relief 
and rest to all the Hellenes." The credit for the peace 
would go to Athens.* The peace party were hopeful, but 
the imperialistic element among the democracy, led by 
Cleon, had gained new hopes and the Spartan offer was re- 
jected. The great disappointment was voiced by Euripides 
in a beautiful plaint : 

Ah, Peace, exceeding rich and of the blessed gods most beauti- 
ful, how long dost thou delay. I fear that old age will over- 
whelm me with its burdens ere I see thee, graceful one, appear- 
ing with the beautifully dancing choruses and thy garland- 
loving festal processions. Come to the city, august Queen, and 
drive fearful tumult from our dwellings and strife that rages 
and makes merry with the sharpened steel.^ 

The following year Aristophanes, in his Georgoi, mimicked 
this plea, but in so doing expressed the longings of the Attic 

O Peace, exceeding rich and ye O yoked oxen ! When shall it 
be granted me to cease from war, to dig the ditch and then to 

1 Thucydides iii, 36 et seq. ; cf. Busolt, op. cit.^ vol. iii, p. 1030. 
^ Crois€t, op. cit., pp. 40 et seq. 
' Meineke, op. cit.j vol. i, p. 140. 

* Thucydides iv, 20, 21. 

* Euripides, ed. Nauck, 3 vols. (Leipzig, 1892-5), fr. 462. 


rest and to drink new wine and consume the oily bread and 

Cleon was the subject of many sharp attacks. Thucy- 
dides charged that he favored war because in quiet times 
his rogueries would be more transparent and his slanders 
less credible.^ Aristophanes, in the Knights y accused him 
of preventing the peace, not that Athens might gain fresh 
glory but that while he kept the people crowded in the city 
he might hold them in dependence on him, that while the 
haze and the dust of war was obscuring his actions from 
view he might plunder the cities at will.* 

Athenian forces were defeated in the following years at 
Delium and by Brasidas, the ablest of the Spartan generals, 
in the Chalcidice. The Athenians then attempted to secure 
peace, but without success. In the final battle at Amphipolis 
both Cleon and Brasidas were killed. The two chief ob- 
stacles to the making of terms were thus removed. The 
conservatives on both sides came into control and peace was 
agreed upon. The Spartan allies were dissatisfied, but they 
were overruled. The treaty, which is known as the Peace 
of Nicias, after the Athenian commander, provided for 
mutual restorations and peace for fifty years.* 

Aristophanes burst forth into jubilations in a play called 
the Peace, ^ He represented the farmers as rejoicing in the 
advent of peace. One Trygaeus has scaled Olympus to find 
the goddess Peace, only to be told by Hermes that the gods, 
disgusted with Hellas because of its failure to end the 
war, had buried Peace and determined to grind the cities to 
pieces in a huge mortar. With the death of Cleon and of 

* Aristophanes, fr. 109. 
' Thucydides v, 16. 
'Arist, Knights ygo et seq. 

* Meyer, op. cit., vol iv, pp. 411 et seq. Thucydides v, 16, 17. 
*Croiset, op. cit., pp, no et seq. 


Brasidas their pestles had been lost/ however. Trygaeus 
hails this as a glorious opportunity and calls upon all Hel- 
lenes, farmers, merchants, artisans, craftsmen, aliens, 
islanders and all, to unite with him in the task of digging 
up Peace. The whole Hellenic nation throws away its ranks 
and squadrons to engage in the task, midst laughter and 
dancing. Only the Megarians, the dissatisfied ones, the 
Argives who have been gaining from both sides, the profes- 
sional soldier who desires a commission, and the merchant 
who sells spears and shields, stand aside. ^ Hermes must be 
bribed to keep silent. After an effort Peace is brought into 
view. The cities are reconciled. The crest-maker and the 
sword-cutler and the spear-burnisher may despair, but the 
pitchfork-maker and the manufacturer of sickles rejoice. 
The farmers lay aside their arms and return to their fig 
trees and their farms. Peace smells of " har\'ests, banquets, 
festivals, flutes, thrushes, plays, the odes of Sophocles, 
Euripidean wordlets . . . the bleating lambs, the ivy-leaf, 
the vat, full-bosomed matrons . . . the tipsy maid, the 
drained and empty flask, and many another blessing." ^ 

Think of all the thousand pleasures. 

Comrades, which to Peace we owe, 

All the life of case and comfort 

Which she gave us long ago : 

Figs and olives, wines and myrtles, 

Luscious fruits, preserved and dried, 

Banks of fragrant violets, blowing 

By the crystal fountain-side ; 

Scenes for which our hearts are yearning, 

Joys that we have missed so long. 

Comrades, here is Peace returning 

Greet her back with dance and song.* 

' Arist, Peace 204 et seq. 
' Ibid., 301 et seq., 441 et seq. 

' Ibid^ 434 et seq., 529 et seq., 545 et seq., 1210 ^^ seq., trans, by Rogers 
(London, 1913). 
* Ibid., 571 et seq. 


The peace proved to be thoroughly unstable. The treaty 
could never be carried out in entirety without the consent 
of the Spartan allies who had refused to acquiesce in it. 
There were infractions on both sides. To minimize these 
the two cities concluded a defensive alliance, which how- 
ever had no good feeling in its support. The war party led 
by the young and reckless Alcibiades came back into power 
at Athens. An alliance was made with Argos which in- 
volved Athens in a war in the Peloponnesus. The battle of 
Mantinea which followed caused the prestige of Sparta to 
rise and Athens was again isolated.^ 

In 416 came the famous Melian episode. The little island 
of Melos, a Dorian settlement which was in an advantag- 
eous position for trade with Egypt, had refused to join the 
Athenian Empire. The Athenians decided to compel it to 
submit. Military expediency alone controlled the situation. 
Justice and honor involved danger in practice. The Melians 
refused to surrender, but were overwhelmed. All who 
were of military age were put to death and the rest sold 
into slavery.^ It was the greatest blot on the name of 
Athens, one which Athenian orators in the next century 
endeavored in vain to explain away. It is thought by some 
that Euripides' powerful play, the Troades, was written as 
a protest against this action.^ 

The restless imperialistic leaders soon involved the city in 
the Sicilian expedition which resulted so disastrously and 
brought a renewal of the war in Greece. From that time 
on the war dragged along with varying success, with many 
useless attempts to secure peace by both sides. The oli- 
garchs made their effort to secure control of Athens and 

^ Meyer, op. £it., vol. iv, pp. 465 et seq. 

^ Thucydides v, 85 et seq., cf. Grundy, op. cit., p. 356. 

'Glover, op. cit., pp. 157 et seq. 


peace with Sparta, but were overthrown. Finally, after 
Persia had been drawn into the struggle, Lysander, the new 
Spartan leader, won the battle of ^gospotami. Athens fell, 
the Long Walls were pulled down to the music of flutes, 
and Hellas was free/ 

Throughout the period Aristophanes was the great pro- 
ponent of peace. He did not agree with the man who de- 
clared that the gods had willed that wars should never 
cease until the wolf and the lamb were united,^ but he 
worked through his plays to secure perpetual peace for 
Hellas. In the Acharnians he compared the hardships and 
the alarms of war with the happiness of peace. The Peace 
was full of the jubilation of the farmers when they were 
allowed to return to their country homes without fear of 
the invaders. In the Lysistrata, a later play, he wrote of 
the sufferings of the women whose husbands and sons were 
always away at the wars and of the unmarried girl whose 
chances for happiness were thus destroyed.^ 

The responsibility for the war the poet laid upon the 
leaders. He recognized the righteous wrath of the farmers 
at the destruction of their fields and admitted equal hatred 
of Sparta. But he declared that the Spartan people were 
not to blame and should not be compelled to suffer for the 
evil machinations of the rulers.* He accused as perpetua- 
tors of war the demagogues who were seeking position, 
power and graft, the professional soldier, the manufac- 
turers of munitions, all who pretended that they were seek- 
ing the best interests of the state while they were actually 
pursuing personal gain.^ In the final analysis the cause of 

* Meyer, op. cit., vol. iii, pp. 550 et seq, 

* Arist., Peace 1075, 6. 

* Arist, Lysistrata, 99 et seq., 585 et seq. 

* Vide supra, p. 93 ; Peace 627 et seq. 

'^ Vide supra, p. 93 ; cf. Croiset, op. cit., pp. 54 et seq. 


war was the desire for money. In the Lysistrata, the 
women of all the states who had combined to establish 
peace, seized the treasury, thus to remove the possibility of 
gain and to compel the men to make peace/ 

In his general attitude Aristophanes was thoroughly Pan- 
hellenic. He did not hesitate to speak his mind for the 
hated Spartans. All his efforts were for Hellas rather than 
for Athens alone. ^ So Lysistrata, in her endeavors to 
secure peace and friendship on the basis of the common 
sisterhood of all women, rebuked the Athenians and the 
Spartans for their fighting and bickering,^ and called them 
to unity in the name of religion and brotherhood. 

And now, dear friends, I wish to chide you both, 
That ye, all of one blood, all brethren sprinkling 
The selfsame altars from the selfsame laver. 
At Pylae, Pytho, and Olympia, ay 
And many others which 'twere long to name. 
That ye, Hellenes — with barbarian foes 
Armed, looking on — ^fight and destroy Hellenes ! * 

In the poet's dream of peace the reconciled cities greet 
and blend in peaceful intercourse and laugh for joy.*^ 

Thucydides, the Athenian, wrote the history of the war. 
He began to write at its very beginning, because he felt that 
it was going to be great and memorable above all other 
wars.* His own part in the war ended with his exile after 
a defeat in Thrace for which as general he was held respon- 
sible, and he was able to devote himself to the gathering of 
his materials. Though he had been himself a general, was 
the historian of a war and wrote his history as a text-book 

^ Arist, Lysis, 487 et seq. *Arist., Peace 302 et al. 

^Id., Lysis. 1159 et seq. 
*Ibid.f 1 128 et seq. 
^Id., Peace 538 et seq. 
* Thucydides i, i. 


for later statesmen and generals, he was by no means a 
supporter of war. He regarded this war as inevitable. 
But he pointed out the many calamities which it had brought 
to Hellas : the capture and depopulation of cities, the exiles 
and the slaughter, and especially the debasement of char- 
acter, both of cities and of men. 

In peace and prosperity both states and individuals are actuated 
by higher motives, because they do not fall under the dominion 
of imperious necessities; but war which takes away the com- 
fortable provision of daily life is a hard master and tends to 
assimilate men's character to their conditions.^ 

He knew, too, how to draw a picture of the hardships of 
war when he wrote of the sufferings of the Athenians after 
the plague and of the terrors of the retreat from Syracuse. 

Besides the reasoning which showed that the conflict be- 
tween Athens and Sparta was necessary and inevitable, 
many arguments against war in general appear in the 
speeches which Thucydides composed to represent the posi- 
tions of the various parties. Again and again was empha- 
sized the fact that war was a matter of chance, hazardous 
to both sides, that men began with blows and then when 
defeated had recourse to words, though the exercise of pru- 
dence would have restrained them in the beginning.^ The 
sufferings of the state in the loss of its men was held to be 
greater than in the loss of property. " Mourn not for 
houses and for lands," said Pericles, " but for men. For 
houses and lands men may gain, but they will not gain 
men." * Upon the men so lost, the state and its leaders be- 
stowed the highest honors.* ^ 

The clearest statement of the whole problem of peace and 

^ Thuc. iii, 82. 2 Id., i, 81 ; iv, 20, 62. 

» Id., i, 143. * Id., 11, 46. 


war was in the speech ascribed to Hermocrates the Syra- 
cusan. The Sicilians held a congress in 424 B. C. to en- 
deavor to secure peace among themselves. Hermocrates, 
who had brought about the meeting, presented in no minc- 
ing words the situation in Sicily. 

You well know and therefore I shall not rehearse to you at 
length, all the misery of war. Nobody is compelled to go to 
war by ignorance and no one who thinks that he will gain any- 
thing from it is deterred by fear. The truth is that the aggfres- 
sor deems the advantage greater than the suflfering ; and the side 
which is attacked would sooner run any risk than suffer the 
smallest immediate loss. But when such feelings on the part 
of either operate unseasonably the time for offering counsel 
of peace has arrived, and such counsels if we will only listen 
to them will be at this moment invaluable to us. Why did we 
go to war ? Simply from a consideration of our own individual 
interests, and with a view to our interests we are now trying 
by means of discussion to obtain peace ; and if, after all, we do 
not before we separate succeed in getting our respective rights, 
we shall go to war again. 

He pointed out the threatening danger of Athenian domi- 
nation. " The ambition and craft of the Athenians are 
pardonable enough. I do not blame those who wish to rule, 
but those who are willing to serve." The justice of a cause, 
he held to be no sufficient guarantee of success. 

The revenge of a wrong is not always successful merely because 
it is just ; nor is strength most assured of victory when it is most 
full of hope. The inscrutable future is the controller of events 
and being the most treacherous of all things is the most bene- 
ficent, for wh^re there is mutual fear, men think twice before 
they make aggressions upon one another. 

Then he appealed for peace. 


And why if peace is acknowledged by all to be the greatest 
of blessings, should we not make peace among ourselves? 
Whatever of good or evil is the portion of any of us, is not 
peace more likely than war to preserve the one and to alleviate 
the other ? And has not peace honors and glories of her own 
unattended by the dangers of war? (But it is unnecessary to 
dilate on the blessings of peace any more than on the miseries 
of war.) Consider what I am saying, and instead of despising 
my words, may every man seek his safety in them.^ 

Euripides, born in the year of Salamis, educated during 
the days when Athens was becoming the prytaneum of 
Greek wisdom as well as the leader of Greek politics, had 
reached the prime of his manhood at the outbreak of the 
Peloponnesian war. He was intensely interested in things 
human, in the solution of the problems of human relations, 
by contrast with his predecessors who dealt with the great 
problems of the universe. Sophocles had treated peace and 
war as an academic question. To Euripides they appealed 
as vital elements in the relationships of men.^ 

He was essentially a lover of peace, whom he hailed as 
the richest and most beautiful of the goddesses, nurse of 
fair children and the giver of happiness and wealth.^ Yet 
he was carried away by hatred of Sparta into advocacy of 
the war. The Andromache y which concerned the mistreat- 
ment of the Trojan princess by Menelaus and Hermione, 
consisted chiefly of a bitter attack on that city. He called 
the Spartans princes of lies, weavers of webs of guile, covet- 
ous murderers, the vilest of men, the most immoral of 
women, and, except for their martial fame, the meanest of 

1 Jowett, Thucydides (London, 1883), iv, 59 et seq. 

' C/. Decharne, op, cit., pp. 128 et seq. ; Botsford and Sihlcr, op. cit, 
p. 34. 

•Euripides, Suppliants^ 489-491; Bacchantes, 419-420; Orestes, 1682 
£t seq. 


mankind.^ In an argument concerning the causes of the 
Trojan war in the same play, he put into the mouth of the 
braggart captain, Menelaus, one of the chief arguments for 
war. Menelaus claimed that, if Helen were responsible for 
the war, she had nevertheless wrought a great boon for 
Hellas : " For those who were ignorant of arms and battles 
turned them to manly deeds. Fellowship in the fight is the 
great teacher of all things to men." " 

The poet reproached the gods for their part in bringing 
on the strife. He repeated the old epic argument that Zeus 
had caused the war to relieve mother earth of her troublous 
throng of men, to bring glory to the mightiest son of Hel- 
las, to ruin Troy and punish Greece.^ 

In his other writings Euripides made it clear that he was 
never for peace at any price. He felt the danger in the use 
of intelligence without courage as in boldness mixed with 
folly, though the former might bring peace and the latter 
keep off foes.* He despised the youth who hated to play 
the man in war.'^ Those who had died with honor, a crown 
of glory to their city, he regarded as more alive than they 
who lived with dishonor.^ Some of his finest characters 
were among those like Menoeceus, son of Creon, and Iphi- 
geneia, who were willing to give up their lives that the 
fatherland might live.^ Praxithea, wife of Erechtheus, 
prayed that her sons might be such as would win renown 
among men in war, not by vain outward show within the 
walls.® The poet's ideal citizen was like Parthenopaeus, 

^Euripides, Andromache 445 et seq.\ 724 ct seq. 

^Id.f Andromache 681-4. 

•/(/., Helen 38-41; fr. 1067. 

*/(/., fr. 556. 

*/(/., fr. 1039. 

® Id., Troades 400 et seq. ; f r. 363. 

'' Id.f Phoenissae 995 et seq.; Iphigeneia in Aulis 1378 et seq. 

• Id., f r. 364. 


ivho though Arcadian, stood midst the spears of the Argive 
host like an Argive bom, fought for the land, rejoiced 
-when the city prospered and grieved when things went ill/ 
Nevertheless, he inveighed against useless war and coun- 
seled prudence, the choice of discretion as the better part of 
valor. ^ He praised the wise man who by justice and by 
good advice took away battles and civil uprisings from 
Greece.^ He attacked the young men who to win praise or 
to obtain power or gold for themselves drove the leaders 
of the state on to war and considered not the sufferings of 
the people thus misused/ For warrior glory of itself he 
had no liking. Thousands of humble lives were sacrificed, 
he felt, that a general might erect a trophy. '^ He regarded 
ambition as the greatest curse of men.* Every man real- 
ized how much better peace was for mankind than war. 
Yet with ambition before their eyes they had chosen war, 
and had strained the bow to shoot beyond the mark.^ In 
its train followed injustice, man had enslaved man and city 
had overthrown city. In the end men had yielded to stem 

Madmen, all ye who seek advantages in war, fighting with 
mighty spears, seeking senselessly to lay aside the burdens of 
life. If struggles of blood be ever judge of peace, then never 
shall strife withdraw from the cities of men.^ 

1 Euripides, Suppliants 896-8. 

*ld.y Suppliants 506-510, 161-2. 

» Id., f r. 284, 23-28. 

*Id., Suppliants 22^37 f 160. 

5 /rf., Andromache 694 et seq. 

*Id.f Phoenissae 531-4, 812. 

^/(/., Suppliants 479 et seq., 743 et seq. 

* Ibid., 493 et seq, 

^Id., Helen 1151-7. 


If men considered death for themselves when they voted 
for war, then never would they cast their vote and Hellas 
would not be dashed to ruin.^ Reason could accomplish all 
that the sword could bring to pass, and this Euripides pro- 
posed as the solution of the problem.^ He drew a remark- 
able picture of self-restraint in the Suppliants, Here The- 
seus is represented as having gone to Thebes to compel the 
burial of the dead chieftains. This done, he refused to pur- 
sue the conquest further and returned home.* 

In the scenes of battle the poet was not impressed by the 
glorious martial strife, the thunder and ring of mailed Ares, 
but saw only destruction, ruin and sorrow. Above the clash 
of shields he heard the groan and shriek of the dying and 
saw on the field the shattered chariots, the rivers of gore 
and the heaps of corpses.* 

On many occasions, especially in the Hecuba and the 
Troades, Euripides wrote of the sufferings occasioned by 
war, the grief of the grey-haired women and aged men 
both among the victorious Hellenes and the conquered 
Trojans, who were deprived of their sons, and the terrible 
lot of the younger women of Troy, many of whom saw 
their husbands slain, their children torn from their arms 
and dashed to death upon the ground and who were them- 
selves dragged into slavery to suffer fresh outrages at the 
hands of the Greeks.** 

Euripides echoed the thought of Sophocles and made the 
application more direct, when he declared that war took 

1 Euripides, Suppliants 481-5. 

'/d., Phoenissae 515 et seq. Suppliants 747 et seq. 

*Id.f Suppliants 724 et seq. 

^Id.y Children of Heracles 832 et seq. Phoenissae 1192 et seq. 
Suppliants 684 et seq. 

^Id.j Troades 371 et seq., 562 et seq., et al; Hecuba 473 et seq., 154 
et seq., et al. ; Andromache 106 et seq., et al. 


the most excellent men, the valiant youths, and left the 
coward. To the city this is a calamity for the noblest to 
die ; ^ and a loss, he said, that can never be replaced. " For 
the one loss that mortal may never make good again is this, 
the life of man, though wealth may be rewon." ^ Surely, 
he who would bring war upon the state will hesitate when 
he considers the sorrow and desolation which will follow.^ 
So Euripides exhorted his countrymen. 

miserable mortals, why do yet get yourselves spears and 
deal out death upon each other ? Stop and withdraw from these 
toils. 'Peaceful, 'mid the peaceful, guard your towns. Short 
is your span of life. Best then to pass through it as gently as 
may be, not worn by burdens.* 

Thus the difficulties of the fifth century, on the one hand, 
and the advancing ease and luxury and culture of life on 
the other, had led the writers of the period to condemn 
war and to cr}'^ for peace. Among the people who had 
suffered so many hardships there had come, too, a realiza- 
tion of the advantages of peace and a longing for it. Arbi- 
tration had failed to accomplish it. But the end of the 
century saw the downfall of the tyrant city that had threat- 
ened all Hellas. Surely the people might look forward to a 
long period of happy independence. 

1 Euripides, fr. 728. 

2 Id., Suppliants 745. 

• /(/., Children of Heracles 161 et seq. ; Suppliants 591. 
*/</., Suppliants 949-954 

The Fourth Century 

The opening events of the fourth century proved that 
the Peloponnesian war, which was to accomplish so much 
for the peace of Hellas, had actually settled nothing. 
Sparta feared too much the growing power of Thebes as 
well as the condemnation of all Hellenes to allow Athens to 
be destroyed. Athens was crippled but not beyond repair. 
Ere long, with Persian help, she rose afresh, became once 
more a rival of Sparta, and even hoped for a renewal of her 
former greatness and empire. The tyranny of the Thirty 
was overthrown and there was no further hope of estab- 
lishing an oligarchy in Athens. She remained a democracy 
and the rallying point for all democratic cities and for all 
democratic parties in cities against oligarchic Sparta. No 
real attempt had been made to lessen the differences which 
held them apart. Nor had their hatred and distrust of each 
other grown any the less.^ 

To complicate matters a new power had arisen. Thebes 
had grown strong on the misfortunes of Athens. Her 
population had been increased by refugees, her wealth had 
been magnified greatly by plunder and her control over the 
Boeotian League had been strengthened.^ On the outside 
stood the Persian king and his satraps. They were inter- 
ested in keeping any Hellenic power from becoming too 

* Meyer, op. cit., vol. v, pp. i, et seq. 

^ Oxyrhyncus Hellenicay xii, in Botsford and Sihkr, op, cit., p. 386. 
108 [502 

503] ^^^ FOURTH CENTURY 109 

strong and in regaining control over the Asiatic cities. Once 
this were accomplished, it would be to the interest of Per- 
sian trade to have peace in the ^gean. The wealth of the 
Persian Empire, for which both sides among the warring 
Hellenes bargained, gave it a dominating influence in Hel- 
lenic affairs. 

The gift of freedom to Hellas by the Spartans proved to 
be a delusion. The small states had but exchanged masters. 
Spartan military hegemony interposed its iron hand in place 
of Athenian control. Lysander, anxious to secure power 
and glory for himself as well as for Sparta, saw to it that 
Spartan influence was established among the former allies 
of Athens. The democratic leaders who were favorable to 
Athens were driven out and boards of ten men were put 
into control of the states. With such bodies Sparta knew 
how to deal. To keep them in power Lacedaemonian gar- 
risons under harmosts were placed in the cities. The re- 
sult was " plunder, oppression and murder.'' Spartan 
power was based on military force, and therefore required 
military force to maintain it. It would endure only so long 
as Sparta was supreme on land and sea. Meanwhile her 
enemies were increasing. Everywhere the exiles were 
planning revenge and the populace was becoming restive. 
With the decline of the power of Lysander the decarchies 
fell, but the hatred and fear of Sparta did not decrease. 
Thebes and Corinth, who had borne their share of the war 
against Athens, felt that they had been deprived of their 
share of the rewards. Spartan ambition frightened them 
and they refused to follow Sparta's lead.^ 

The war with Persia which followed the march of the 
Ten Thousand gave to Sparta an opportunity to unite the 
Greeks in a great Panhellenic movement. Allies in Thessaly 

* Botsford, Hellenic History, ch. xxi. 


had already been secured in the formation of an Hellenic 
league. Agesilaus planned to follow in the steps of Aga- 
memnon and led his forces to Aulis for a sacrifice. He 
misused his powers and alienated his allies by the gift of 
appointments to his friends. Other Greeks refused to join 
and Thebes was openly hostile. Theban cavalry scattered 
his men at the sacrifice. Though all chance of a Panhel- 
lenic army was gone, Agesilaus proceeded to Asia Minor, 
and there was making considerable headway against Persia 
when events in Greece called him home.^ 

The enemies of Sparta had found common cause and 
had united to wage war once again for the freedom of Hel- 
las. Athens, Thebes, Corinth, Argos and many of the 
islands formed a league, and in 395 the Corinthian war 
began. Though it seemed to put an end to all Panhellenic 
hopes, Gorgias ^ and Lysias,* the orators, urged the Greeks 
to lay aside these local differences and unite for a great war 
with Persia. One event made this impossible. In 393 
Conon, an Athenian, admiral of the Persian fleet, won a 
victory off Cnidus which destroyed Spartan naval suprem- 
acy, and then with Persian money aided in the rebuilding 
of the Long Walls of Athens. Persia knew well how to pre- 
vent united action among the Greeks. Athens, once again 
able to lift her head and hope for a renewal of wealth and 
empire, began the formation of a new league among the 
islanders and refused to follow the lead of Sparta.* 

In spite of her naval defeat Sparta was still supreme on 
land. The Boeotians were discouraged and an attempt was 

1 Meyer, op. cit.y vol. v, pp. 204 et seq. ; Xenophon, ed. Marchant 
3 vols. (Oxford, 1900), Hellenica vii, i, 3» 4- 

2 Philostratus, Vita Sophistarum ed. Kayser (Leipzig, 1870-1), 9, 2. 

'Lysias, ed. Heide, Oxford 1913 Olympiakos; cf. Jebb, Attic Orators 
from Antiphon to Isaeus (2nd ed., London, 1893), vol. i, p. 155. 

* Meyer, op. cit,, vol. v, pp. 238 et seq. 


made in the winter of 392-1 to secure peace. Sparta an- 
nounced that she was willing to grant freedom to all the 
Greeks, common use of the seas, and to allow the main- 
tenance of the Athenian fleet and walls. ^ But the old Athe- 
nian war party was in control. They talked of the dangers 
to the democracy if peace were made before Sparta was 
crushed, of the losses that might follow, and they held out 
hopes of the recovery of the lost lands and property on the 
Chersonese in the event of victory. Andocides, the orator, 
endeavored to break down the opposition to peace. He 
pointed out that neither their allies nor the Great King 
would allow the fruition of the dreams of regained power. 
He reminded them that the democracy had been disturbed 
only when Athens was crushed ; that Athens had prospered 
and gained her power during the intervals of peace with 
Sparta, and had suffered and lost in every war that she had 
waged with that city. For the crushing of Sparta he held 
that Athens had neither the men nor the arms nor the 
money. " That to enter upon a just and fair peace is much 
wiser than to carry on war you all seem to understand 
clearly, Athenians." ^ Peace could not be secured, however. 
The following year the Athenian general Iphicrates won a 
victory on land. The tide began to turn against Sparta and 
she appealed to Persia. To have Sparta crushed was not to 
the interest of the Great King. In addition, the Lacedae- 
monians were willing to pay his price for support. Once 
his financial aid was withdrawn from Athens and her allies, 
they could do naught but accept his terms. A conference 
met at Sardis, of which this proclamation was the outcome : 

King Artaxerxes deems it right that the cities of Asia with 
the islands of Qazomenae and Cyprus should belong to himself. 

1 Meyer, op. cit.y pp. 251, 2. 

•Andocides ed. Blass (Leipzig, 1906), On the Peace, 


The remaining cities, small and great, he wishes to leave inde- 
pendent, with the exception of Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros, 
which three as formerly are to belong to Athens. Should any 
of the parties concerned not accept this peace, I, Artaxerxes, 
together with those who share my views, will wage war against 
him or them by land and sea, with ships and with money.^ 

To the familiar terms of eleutheria kai autonomia, a new 
principle had been added — the armed enforcement of peace. 
With the exception of the shameful surrender of the Asiatic 
cities, the peace seemed eminently fair and just. In fact, it 
brought untold confusion. The Athenian maritime alli- 
ance was broken up and the naval power of Athens was so 
shattered that pirates once more ruled the seas. The Boeo- 
tian League was disbanded and with it went the hopes of 
Thebes. Only Sparta remained the gainer. The principles 
of armed force for which she stood had been vindicated in 
fact if not in word. It was generally understood that she 
was to enforce the peace with Persian backing.^ Her power 
in the Peloponnesus was not injured and there were none 
that might gainsay her, none to protect the weaker states nor 
the peace itself against her. Autonomy was easily trans- 
lated to mean the rule of the friends of Sparta.^ Decarchies 
were once again set up and there followed a new series of 
revolutions. Exiles again wandered in armed mercenary 
bands and menaced life and property throughout the land. 
More cities were taken during the period of the peace than 
before it had been concluded.* 

Sparta herself broke the peace. To punish Mantinea for 

1 Xenophon, Hellenica v, i, 31 ; cf. Meyer, op. cit., vol. v, pp. 267 
et seq, 
* Botsford, Hellenic History, ch. xxi. 
*Cf. Glover, op. cit., p. 108. 
*Isocrates, ed. Blass, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1885), Peace, 


disaffection she crushed and destroyed that city/ Then a 
Spartan commander without justification seized the citadel 
of Thebes. When he was tried at Sparta for his infraction 
of the peace, Agesilaus defended him on the ground that 
he had acted for the best interests of the state and he escaped 
with a fine. The citadel was kept.^ 

To the north a group of states were offering a new solu- 
tion* to the problem of peace and unity. Olynthus in the 
Chalcidice had become the center of a federal union. Citi- 
zens in each state of the league were given full rights of 
citizenship in every other state and thus were held together 
by a common interest. Even those who had been forced 
into the organization soon lost their local interests in the 
welfare of the whole. Its growing power was regarded as a 
menace by its neighbors and by the Spartans. Federalism 
had no place in a world ruled by Sparta. When the Olyn- 
thian union had been destroyed by a short war, Spartan 
power had reached its climax. Agesilaus had attained the 
goal of his desires. 

The man who led his city to these achievements was Agesilaus, 
the embodiment of the Lacedaemonian spirit, patriotic, ambi- 
tious and efficient, but with stunted ideals, unprogressive alike 
in military art, in statesmanship and in humanism — a man who 
tested the right or wrong of every action by the sole advant- 
age of Sparta, whose vision, limited to brute power, took no 
account of the moral forces roused through Hellas by his policy 
of blood and iron.^ 

The armed forces of Athens and Thebes, supported by 
these moral forces of disappointment and indignation, were 
preparing to crush the power of Sparta, to punish her for 

^Diodorus Siculus xv, i. 

* Xenophon, Hellenicay v, 2, 25 et seq. 

' Botsford, Hellenic History^ ch. xxi. 


her breach of the peace and to compel her to allow the Hel- 
lenes to live in peace, free and secure. Athens had been 
busy in the formation of a new confederacy. Alliances with 
Chios, Byzantium and Chalcis were secured, and in 377 the 
second Athenian Confederacy was launched, with the sup- 
port of the maritime states.^ In this Athens had been care- 
ful to keep the peace. No one was forced to come in ; each 
treaty provided for local freedom and autonomy. The 
assembly of the allies met free from Athenian interference 
and only required Athenian sanction for action. No tribute 
was collected, but ships and money were to be contributed 
when needed. The purpose of the league was defence 
against Sparta. 

Thebes meanwhile had been able to drive the Spartan 
garrison out of the citadel and to reorganize the Boeotian 
League.^ In alliance with Athens accordingly she declared 
war upon Sparta for the freedom of Hellas.^ Though the 
allies outmatched Sparta in strength, they were unable to 
make headway. Thebes left the prosecution of the war to 
Athens and turned to increasing her own power at the cost 
of the very principles of liberty and law for which she had 
gone to war. Thespiae was subjugated, Plataea was de- 
stroyed again, and the conquest of Phocis was started.* 
Athens became alarmed and turned to Sparta. In 374 a 
peace conference at Sparta reaffirmed the principles of the 
King's Peace. But the difficulties had not been settled. 
The democratic party in a small state appealed for help, 

^Marshall, The Second Athenian Confederacy (Cambridge, 1905), 
pp. 14 et seq. 

^ On the organization of this confederacy cf. Botsford, " The Constitu- 
tion and Politics of the Boeotian League," in Political Science Quarterly, 
vol. XXV (1910), pp. 271-296. 

* Meyer, op. cit., vol. v, p. 381. 

* Ibid.f pp. 390 et seq. 


and Timotheus, the Athenian admiral, gave it. Elsewhere 
the same consequences followed. Sparta continued to 
establish oligarchies and Athens to aid democracies and 
the war continued.^ To put an end to this, to check the 
advancing power of Thebes and to bring an end to hostil- 
ities a congress was called to meet in Sparta in 371.^ Here 
was represented all Hellas, and Persia as well, in an at- 
tempt to secure a general peace. Though men felt that it 
was impossible to put an end to all wars, they sought a way 
to prevent the disputes which were the most prolific causes 
of strife. It was recognized that the chief difificulty lay in 
the governmental differences between Athens and Sparta. 
In every small state in Greece the democratic party looked 
to Athens for support and the oligarchic to Sparta. Alli- 
ances followed the will of the party in power. Party strife 
led to appeals on both sides, and these involved the two 
leading states in war with each other. It was agreed that 
the only solution lay in open friendship between the two 
powers and an agreement not to interfere in such local dis- 
putes. To compass such a state of affairs, the peace pro- 
vided that all governors should be withdrawn, each state 
should be left free to choose its own form of government 
and its own alliances, and armaments should be disbanded, 
both naval and military. Furthermore, " if any state trans- 
gressed these stipulations, it lay at the option of any power 
whatsoever to aid the states so injured, while conversely, 
to bring such aid was not compulsory on any power against 
its will." ^ The last provision proved to be the weak link 
in the chain. 

The success of the plan involved the end of the growing 
power of Thebes. Athens and Sparta would allow no rival. 

* Diodorus xv, 4. Xen., Hell, vi, 2. 
' X-en., Hell, vi, 3. 
8 Ihid., vi, 3, 20. 


Epaminondas, the Theban representative, was ordered by 
the congress to sign for Thebes only and to allow the other 
Boeotians to sign for themselves. This meant the end of 
the Boeotian League. Rather than yield to what they re- 
gjarded as virtual destruction, the Thebans withdrew from 
the conference and their state was excluded from the treaty.^ 
Sparta thereupon took up the burden of enforcing the peace 
against Thebes." One Spartan opposed this action before 
the assembly and made a remarkable suggestion. He pro- 
posed that the army should be recalled and disbanded ac- 
cording to the treaty; that contributions should then be 
placed at Delphi ; 

then, if any one violated the peace or the independence of the 
states, all others could be invited in and funds would be at hand. 
The sanction of heaven and the enforcement of the peace would 
thus be secured with the least annoyance to the states. But the 
assembly on hearing these words agreed that this man was talk- 
ing nonsense.* 

The Spartan army advanced against Thebes unsupported by 
Athens. Leuctra followed, and with it came the collapse of 
Spartan supremacy and the end of all the bright hopes of 
the peace conference. Every state remembered its long 
years of oppression and broke loose from Sparta. Athens, 
-in spite of her recent pledge and the mutual obligation for 
the war against Thebes, made use of the situation to in- 
crease her own powers. She gathered around herself a 
group of the smaller cities, held a conference and secured 
peace among them with a pledge to protect them in case of 
need.* Thebes followed up her victory by an invasion of 

^ Xen., Hell., vii, i et seq. 

* Diodorus xv, 6. 

3 Xen., Hell, vi, 4, 2. Trans, by Dakyns, 3 vols. (New York, 1890-97). 

^ Ibid., vi, 5, I et seq. 

5 1 1 ] THE FO URTH CENTURY 1 1 7 

the Peloponnesus. The old alliance was broken up, Mes- 
sene was rebuilt and a league was formed among the Arca- 
dians to act as a check on Sparta/ Not until Theban 
power became threatening did Athens remember her oaths 
and engage in the war in defence of the peace.^ 

The army of Thebes was not strong enough to secure her 
position, so she in turn called a series of meetings, with the 
aid of Persia, whose trade was suffering from the prolon- 
gation of hostilities. Meetings were held at Delphi and at 
Susa, which attempted to destroy Athenian naval power 
and to secure recognition of Theban leadership, but they 
resulted only in contempt for the Great King. A seventh 
meeting, this time at Thebes, resulted in the acceptance by 
many smaller states of the usual terms of freedom and 
autonomy. They refused, however, to take any oath which 
would bind them to Thebes. It is probable that the The- 
bans proposed an alliance to compel Sparta to accept the 
peace and recognize Messene. This the other states de- 
clined.* The final effort of the Thebans to secure control 
and of the other states to defend themselves came at Man- 
tinea. Though a Theban victory, it resulted in the death 
of Epaminondas and the end of the power of his city.* 

No one state stood out in the general chaos strong enough 
to dominate. A balance of power more stable it was thought 
than that between Athens and Sparta had been established. 
All save Sparta united and a common peace was made, " so 
that putting aside the war against each other, each shall 
make his own city as great and prosperous as possible, and 

^ Meyer, op, cit.y vol. v, pp. 449 et seq. 

^ Xen. Hell, vii, i ; cf. Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptionum graecorum 
(3ci ed., Leipzig, 1915), 159- 

• Xen. Hell, vii, i, 27, 33 et seq.y 39 et seq. ; cf. Meyer, op. cit., vol. v, 
p. 430. 

* Xen., Hell, vii, 5, 25. 


shall remain useful to friends and strong/' An offer to 
unite with revolting satraps against Persia was refused. If 
the Great King did not interfere with them, they would not 
make war on him.^ 

The hope for peace was vain. A quarrel between Thebes 
and Phocis, which had not been settled, led to strife, which 
was easily turned into a Sacred War by the Thebans. 
Athens and Sparta went to the aid of the Phocians, and the 
Thebans called in Philip of Macedon. With his entrance a 
new element appeared in Hellenic history. 

In the meantime the second Athenian Confederacy, from 
which so much had been expected, had fallen on difficult 
times. The Athenians had departed from their lofty re- 
solves, had failed to protect the allies properly and had 
spent the money of the league for their own purposes. 
Some of the states had been reduced to subjection and 
others had been plundered by the mercenary soldiers which 
were hired to defend them. Epaminondas had stirred up 
discontent among the allies, and in 357 several of the 
islands, led by Chios, Rhodes and the city of Byzantium, 
and supported by Mausolus of Caria, revolted. Persia in- 
terfered, and the Athenians were compelled to recognize the 
independence of the seceders. There were some who op- 
posed the peace in the hope of regaining what had been 
lost, but sound counsels of finance and polity prevailed and 
peace was made. Within a year the confederacy had col- 
lapsed entirely. Thus because of the short-sighted, self- 
seeking policy of Athens the last experiment in Hellenic 
unification during the days of Greek freedom had failed.^ 
All the powers had passed — Athenian, Spartan, Olynthian, 
Theban, and Athenian again. There was no power strong 

* Dittenberger, 182. Diodorus, xv, 10. 
'Marshall, op. cit., pp. 113 et seq. 



enough to lead, no city willing enough to follow. When 
peace and unity came to the Hellenic world, it was com- 
pelled from without. 

To the north, in the valley above modern Saloniki, lay 
Pella, capital of the kingdom of Macedon. Its kings had 
been in close relations with Athens for a century. In the 
early part of the fourth century before the Christian era* 
the throne had been seized by Philip. He possessed a genius 
for organization, remarkable foresight, a shrewd mind, but 
an unscrupulous character. The greatest general Greece 
had produced had been his tutor in military science. He 
had acquired the throne by violence and he knew his own 
powers and the absolute nature of his rule. In early life 
he had learned what the weaknesses of Greece were and 
how they might be used to his advantage. It became his 
ambition to raise himself with his little kingdom, despised 
as barbarian by the cultured Greeks of the south, to a con- 
trolling place in the Greek world. ^ 

Philip's first task was the organization of his own king- 
dom. All opposition was crushed. Every man subject to 
him was trained in the newest methods of warfare. Sup- 
plies of money and munitions were gathered and the entire 
nation was placed on a war basis. The citizen armies of the 
Greek states had been accustomed to fighting only in dull 
seasons. To the armies that Philip organized, seasons made 
no difference ; they were ready to fight at any time, in any 
place, under any conditions.^ 

The problem of foreign relations was solved with the 
same efficiency. Measures were taken to secure friends and 

* Pickard-Cambridge, Demosthenes and the Last Days of Greek Free- 
dom (London, 1914), pp. 143 et seq. 

'Demosthenes, ed. Dindorff, rev. by Blass, 3 vols. (Leipzig, 189 1- 
1907), trans, by Kennedy, €. R., 5 vols. (London, 1903), Phil, iii, 49, 
01 i, 4. 


prevent a coalition of Greeks against him. Grold was dis- 
bursed freely among the venal to obtain support. For some, 
the flattery of friendship sufficed. Others were gained by 
promises of support in local politics or petty wars. Exhi- 
bitions of his power won the fearful. Before the final con- 
flict began there was a strong Macedonian party in every 
city of Greece and some cities had declared themselves his 

Philip was entirely without scruple. The old rules of 
warfare did not bind him. Treaties and truces he broke 
whenever his purposes required. Frequently he avowed 
friendship for a city and promised support and alliance. 
Once a foothold was secured in this way, he forgot his 
promises and the city fell. Captured, it might expect no 
mercy. The surrounding country was devastated, the city 
destroyed, its men killed or sold into slavery, while its 
women, too often, suffered a worse fate. In the neighbor- 
hood a colony of Macedonians was settled to secure the 
region.^ Spies in Philip's employ were everywhere. One 
Athenian was executed for accepting his bribe to burn an 
arsenal in Athens.^ 

Two things were needed to establish his place in the sun 
of the -^gean world : recognition by the Greek states as a 
leading power in order that he might dominate their councils, 
and the stretch of seacoast reaching from Saloniki to Byzan- 
tium — modem Constantinople — to secure for him the rich 
gold mines of Thrace, but above all to give him a vantage 
point from which he might outrival and crush the com- 
mercial and naval power of Athens. Conquest of Thessaly 
and the Theban invitation to take part in the Sacred War 

1 Cf. Dem., Phil, i, 6 ; ii, 19. 

* Pi ckard- Cambridge, op, cit., pp. 155 et seq., 159 et seq.j pp. 191 et seq., 
206 et seq. 

* Demosthenes, On the Crown, 132. 


secured him the first of these. Success made him head 
of the Amphictyonic Council, the great religious body 
of Greece, with tremendous prestige.^ All his resources 
and all his ability were directed towards gaining the coast- 
land. Clever trickery and quick action won him important 
gains in the very beginning. Success attended him nearly 
to the end. 

One Athenian saw the purposes of Philip and realized 
what threatened. Demosthenes, the orator, went before the 
people and declaimed against Philip. He showed them that 
Philip was a despot who desired universal empire and 
sought it without regard to peace or justice; ^ that he had 
the advantages of a despot in his ability to send his men 
whenever and wherever he willed, answerable to no one, 
publishing or concealing his designs as he chose; that he 
was unscrupulous in strategy and brutal in execution, plun- 
dering and pillaging, enslaving and murdering without 
mercy.^ The wealth and power of Athens, Demosthenes 
declared, was the king's ultimate objective; her democratic 
constitution, his most hated foe. " Democracies and des- 
pots cannot exist together." ** Every king and despot is a 
foe to freedom." * In democratic Athens leaders could 
not act save after deliberation by the people, and to the 
people they must report. Philip's speed and precision were 
impossible to them. Preparedness was the only means of 
safety : the creation and maintenance of a large fleet, and the 
training of a strong citizen army. Hasty levies of citizens, 
called to arms only at the approach of danger, would be of 
no avail against the skilled forces of Philip.^ 

' Pickard-Cambridge, op. cit.j pp. 288 et seq, 

2 Dem. Phil, ii, 7, 8. 

3 Id., 01. i, 4, 25 ; et seq. 
*Id., Phil, ii, 25; 01. i, 5. 
' Id., Phil i, 4. 


The situation in Thrace called for immediate attention. 
Demosthenes showed the nature of Philip's treachery there, 
and called on the people to avenge and protect their friends 
and allies/ 

Opposition immediately arose. Some asked, " What 
does all this signify? How is the state concerned in Philip's 
actions in Thrace ?" To them he replied : " Religion and 
justice have the same obligation, be the subject of the offence 
great or small." ^ " But the war is far off and of no con- 
cern to Athens. Philip is friendly toward the city and 
would be on good terms with us." " Philip's character will 
not let him rest content. Already made great by Athenian 
neglect, he will soon be bringing the war to Attica. Pro- 
testations of friendship wrought the ruin of the Thracian 
cities, as they will of Athens if we are careless. The choice 
is between war yonder with an enemy discredited by deceit 
or war close by with a successful, and therefore more 
powerful enemy." ^ 

Men, probably in the pay of Philip, attacked Demosthenes 
bitterly. They called him a soured water-drinker, declared 
that he was in the employ of Philip's opponents in other 
cities or else that Philip's offer to him had not been suffi- 
ciently high. They extolled the character and ability of 
Philip and claimed that it was useless for Athens to fight 
him. " Better to be on good terms with the coming leader 
of the Greeks." These men Demosthenes attacked as trai- 
tors who measure happiness by their belly and all that is 
base, while freedom and independence they count as 

^Demosthenes, 01. i, passim. 
2 Id., Phil iii, 16. 
*/fl?., 01. i, 14, 15, 26. 

* Pickard-Cambridge, op. cit., p. 280, Dem., Phil, ii, 30; On the Crowfi, 
296; Aeschines, On the Crown, 81, 173. 


Lovers of peace talked of the great prosperity of Athens, 
the abundant blessings of tranquility, and compared them 
with the breakdown of trade, the expense of maintaining 
large forces, the loss of men and money, and all the evils in 
the train of war/ They thought it better to suffer humilia- 
tions in Thrace than to risk all in war. Isocrates even ap- 
pealed to Philip to be the leader of the Greeks, and held that 
his only opponents were those whose personal interests were 
challenged.^ The rich objected to the expense and concealed 
their wealth, Demosthenes declared, to escape the burdens. 
The artisans in the city were willing to vote for war in the 
assembly, but were not willing to go themselves. Success 
or failure in the war meant little to them, while absence on 
service meant possibly loss of life, but surely ruin. Xeno- 
J)hon complained that they would not leave their benches 
though Attica itself were invaded. The farmer could not 
see beyond the confines of Attica. He was ever ready to 
fight in defence of his own fields, but was not interested in a 
war in far-off Thrace which did not appear to be his own.* 
The peace party declared the whole dispute was due to the 
desire of a few men to plunder the public treasury.* To 
such men Demosthenes could only show the reality of the 
danger, the menace of Philip's despotism to free Athens. 
He reminded them of the glories of past days, of the men 
who scorned to live if it could not be with freedom.*^ He 
pointed the way to success : 

^ Dem., On the Peace, 24, 5. On the Chersonese, 8. On the Embassy, 
88 et seq. 

' Isocrates, Philippus 73 et seq. 

'Dem., On the Naval Boards, 25; Xen., Econ. vi, 5-8, cf. Pickard- 
Cambridge, Public Orations of Demosthenes (Oxford, 1912), Intro- 
duction, p. 20. 

4 I>eni., On the Chersonese, 52. 

^ Id., 01. iii, 28 et seq. On the Chersonese 40; On the Crown, 205 
ei seq. 


If each of you can be relied upon to act when his duty bids him 
and when his services will be of use to his country ; if he who 
has money will contribute and he who is bi military age will 
enlist for the campaign.^ 

Not her marketable commodities made Athens great and 
wealthy, but her freedom and power.^ 

The fire of the orator's eloquence aroused the people to 
momentary enthusiasm. They voted for war and for large 
expeditions, then failed to contribute money or to enlist. 
The time of the assembly was wasted in discussions over 
the conduct of the generals and the advisability of entrust- 
ing larger forces to them. As a result but small fleets and 
armies were dispatched, and these arrived too late.* Demos- 
thenes tried in vain to secure speed and service. "All words 
without action are vain and idle." * " Voting alone will 
not save the state." ^ He went throughout the Peloponne- 
sian states in a hopeless attempt to form a league against 
Philip. The Greeks mistrusted Athens and would not fol- 
low her.® 

Philip advanced with constant success until he reached 
the Bosphorus and threatened the Athenian food supply. 
Then Athens awoke. Alliances were made, fleets and armies 
dispatched, and Philip was driven back from under the w^alls 
of Byzantium.^ Athenian power alone blocked his path to 
empire. On a convenient pretext, he marched south into 
Greece. The words of Demosthenes had come true, the 

1 Dem., Phil i, 7. 

2 Id., Phil, iv, 50. 
^ Id., 01. Hi, 4. 

*/rf. O/. ii, 12; PM, ii, 3. 

^ Id., On the Chersonese, 77. 

^ Pi ckard- Cambridge, Demosthenes, p. 306. 

^ Ibid., pp. 348, et seq. 


war was coming home. The Athenians rallied. An alli- 
ance was secured with Thebes, the army was organized and 
sent forth to meet him. All was too late. The citizen levies 
of Athens and Thebes were no match for the trained armies 
of the Macedonian king. The battle of Chaeronea estab- 
lished Philip's power in Greece.^ The character of Hellenic 
history was changed. The day of the city-state had passed. 

The long series of wars and the many attempts to end 
thfem led to greater discussion of the question of peace and 
war by thinking men. Supporters of war like Xenophon 
and Demosthenes, the philosophers, Socrates, Plato and 
Aristotle, and orators like Lysias and Isocrates, all had 
something to say about the general problem. 

Though Xenophon might admit that peace was a blessing 
and war a curse,^ yet his experiences with the Ten Thou- 
sand and with Agesilaus in Asia had given him a martial 
fervor. He judged all things in the state by their relation- 
ship to war. Industry he condemned because it produced a 
class who were not warlike by nature but docile, unwilling 
to expend toil or to venture their lives in defence of the 
state.* On the other hand, he called agriculture noble, be- 
cause it trained body and soul for war, taught the lessons 
of co-operation and gave men a willingness to fight on be- 
half of their own lands.* He condemned the coward and 
thought him a butt of ridicule.*^ His ideal hero was a great 
general like Agesilaus as he conceived him to be, a leader 
good and brave, lofty of soul and large of judgment, a man 
of scientific knowledge in the business of war, a strong and 
stout commander, able to secure from his soldiers such obe- 

1 Pickard-'Gambridge, op. cit., pp. 359, et seq. 
' Xen., HierOf ii, 6. 
3 Id., Econ. vi, 5-8. 

* /</., Econ. V, 6. 

* Id., Sytnp. xi, 14. 


dience and respect that they would follow him through fire 
and into the jaws of death and would achieve great deeds 
under his eyes.^ Xenophon's symbol of order and efficiency 
was a well-organized army or a noble trireme, a splendid 
sight for friendly eyes, but a thing of terror to the enemy. 
But a disorganized force was the worst example of confu- 
sion and failure.^ He knew from his own experience all the 
things that make war hard, the tasteless food, the restless 
slumber, the pains and the horrors of battle.* But he had 
also tasted of the joys of victory, the rout of the enemy, the 
pursuit, the slaughter. 

In what language shall I describe the exultation of these 
warriors at their feats of arms. With what assumption they 
bind on their brows the glittering wreath of glory ; with what 
mirth and jollity they congratulate themselves on having raised 
their cities to newer heights of fame. Each citizen claims to 
have shared in the plan of campaign and to have slain the 
greatest number. Indeed it would be hard to find where false 
embellishment will not creep in, the number stated to be slain 
exceeding those that actually perished. So truly glorious a 
thing does it seem to them to have won so great a victory.* 

For a man who had experienced such feelings war had lost 
most of its terrors. The method of prevention of war 
which appealed to him as best was preparedness. Though 
he recognized that a standing mercenary army would lead 
a neighboring state to desire peace, the best protection he 
felt was not a brilliant armor like that but the warlike 
aspect of the whole state. ^ 

1 Xen., Econ, xxi, 3-6 ; Agesilaus^ passim. 

* Id., Econ. vii, 4-6. 
8 Id.y Hiero vi, 15. 

* Ihid.y ii, 14 et seq. 
5 Ihid.y X, 7 ; xi, 3. 


With the attitude of Xenophon, Demosthenes concurred. 
The only salvation he saw for Athens was a renewal of the 
ancient spirit and the creation of a strong, well-trained 
citizen army. But his efforts, as has been seen, were of no 
avail. He found his solution of the difficulties among the 
Greeks in a maintenance of the existing balance among the 
states ; and to that end he strove to prevent any state from 
becoming strong enough to assume again a dominating 

In the immediate problems of Hellas the philosophers 
were not particularly interested. In their discussions of 
politics, however, the general question of war came up for 

In the Memorabilia of Xenophon a few expressions of 
Socrates are recorded. Himself a soldier of Athens, he 
apparently felt the futility of war. When Glaucon urged 
upon him that the state might by going to war enrich itself 
out of the resources of its enemies, he rejoined that there 
was equal chance of defeat and the loss of valued posses- 
sions.^ He called attention to the fact that preparedness 
was no guarantee of protection, that though men had built 
walls, collected armaments and secured allies, yet they had 
been attacked and had fallen victims to injustice.^ 

Plato regarded war as inevitable, a natural state, based 
on the struggle of country against country, village against 
village, family against family, and individual against indi- 
vidual, and of every man against himself.* As such it was 
the product of civilization. Primitive man had not known 

* Cf. Demosthenes, For the Megalopolitans. 
' Xen., Mem. iii, 6, 8. 

^ Ibid.f ii, I, 4. 

* Plato, ed. Burnet, 5 vols. (Oxford, 1900-1907), trans, by Jowett, 
5 vols. (3d ed. London, 1892), Laws 625 et seq. Cf, Shorey, "Plato's 
Laws and the Unity of Plato's Thought" in Classical Philology ix 
(1914), pp. 360 et seq. 


wars, but when men had been compelled to live together 
they had learned the art of war as a part of the arts of 
government. ^ The causes of war, he said, were the same as 
the causes of all the other evils in the state : discontent, de- 
sire for money, for power, for expansion of territory at the 
cost of one's neighbor.^ The basis for all these he found in 
injustice, which in turn was founded on that ignorance 
which led men to regard expediency as the best test, to dis- 
regard what they had agreed to observe, to hate the good 
and to embrace the evil.^ In view of this he felt that the 
guilt of war was confined to the few discontented persons 
who stirred up the evil.* He condemned the search for 
power, the ambition for glory, the desire for plunder which 
led the rulers of the state to involve their people in war and 
to destroy cities and devastate lands. '^ In the Statesman, 
Plato pointed out that those who were continually urging 
war from an excessive love of the military life, raised up 
enemies for the state and in the end either ruined it or en- 
slaved it to its foes. On the other hand, he held that people 
who were too busy making money and quietly looking after 
their own affairs to take war in earnest, found ways too 
readily to keep the peace out of season, made their sons 
and their state unwarlike, and so lay at the mercy of their 
enemies and inevitably became slaves.® 

\Yars between Hellenes, the philosopher particularly 
deprecated. Since they were brothers and kinsmen, he 
called strife among them discord and disorder rather than 
war. The only justification which he admitted for it was 

* Plato, Laws 678-9; Protagoras 322. 

*Id., Republic 351, 373, 4; Ale. i, 109, 112; Euthyphro 71 Phaedo 66 C. 
^Id.y Ak. 1, 113; Republic 338; Laws 686-601. 

* Id., Republic, 47^ E, 575 B. 
^ Ibid., 544 et seq. 

^ Id., Statesman 307, 308. 


the necessity of securing freedom. Then it should be so 
waged as to punish the guilty few and to lay as little 
burden as possible on the many innocent. Houses should 
not be burned nor crops carried off, nor Hellenic freemen 
be made slave. The whole affair should be waged with 
reconciliation in mind. The barbarians, however, he viewed 
as natural enemies on whom Hellenes should make war in 
the common interest of Hellas.^ 

Plato believed thoroughly in preparedness as a distinct 
advantage, as well as a necessity for the individual and for 
the city. Every boy and every girl, he declared, should re- 
ceive some training so that they might aid in defence of the 
city.^ Not only was such training useful in time of neces- 
sity, but it developed the body and taught the noble lessons 
of valor and self-control.* Even the ideal state required 
trained defenders. But they should be trained not only in 
those arts which taught courage and removed fear of death, 
but also in philosophy which embraced other virtues, that 
they might be like watch-dogs, gentle toward friends and 
fierce only toward enemies.* In the Laws he showed that 
the Cretan and Spartan law-givers had erred in that they 
prepared their citizens only for war, forgetting that cour- 
age is but one of the virtues and that not the highest, that 
a man must be just and temperate and wise as well as cour- 
ageous.^ Since he felt that only the perfectly just could 
ever attain the highest aim and be safe from injury from 
others, he advised for the average city preparation for war 
in times of peace.® Hence it was that education and the arts 

1 Plato, Republic^ 470 et seq. ; Menexenus 239. 

^ Id., Laws, 813, 4; Republic 422. 

' Id., Laches 182 ; Republic 399 ; Laws 815, 6 ; Protagoras 359. 

4 Id., Republic 2>7Z et seq. 

^ Id., Laws 630, 661, 7. 

« Ibid., 829. 


of war and peace were to be in common, and the best phil- 
osophers and the bravest warriors should be kings. ^ 

In the last analysis Plato felt that war was to be waged 
for but one purpyose, which was peace. " There neither is, 
has been, nor ever will be any amusement or instruction 
worth speaking of in war. Peace should be kept as long 
and as well as it can be." ^ 

No one can be a true statesman whether he aims at the happi- 
ness of the individual or the state who looks only or first of 
all to external warfare ; nor will he ever 'be a sound legislator 
who orders peace for the sake of war and not war for the sake 
of peace. And is there not room for courage in peace as 
in war?^ 

With the views of Plato, Aristotle did not materially 
differ. He regarded self-interest as the greatest of the 
causes of war. The men who had brought on the wars 
which had so racked Hellas he declared had looked only to 
their own advantage and the interest of their own form of 
government and were not really concerned with the public 
interest at all.* The desire to dominate over others he felt 
to be unlawful. " How can that which is not even lawful 
be the business of the statesman or legislator. Unlawful it 
certainly is to rule without regard to justice where there is 
might but no right." ° So he condemned the Spartan and 
Cretan statesmen who had framed their constitutions solely 
with a view to war, to conquer and to rule. Knowing no 
higher employment than war, their citizens knew not how to 
use peace. Like iron unused, they had rusted. They had 
not attained happiness and their empires had passed away. 


1 Plato, Republic 543. 2 /j^ l^^^ 803. 

3 Id.y Laws 628; Laches 191. 

* Aristotle, ed. Acad. reg. boruss, 5 vols. (Berlin, 1831-70); Politics^ 
trans, by Jowett, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1885), iv, 11, 18. 

^Ibid., vii, 2, 12. •/&«(/., vii, 2, 18; 13. 

-25] T^^ FOURTH CENTURY 131 

Preparedness he supported thoroughly, both on the part 
of the ruler and the individual. It was the business of the 
leaders of the state, he held, to know not only its own 
power, capacity and history, but also the power and capac- 
ity of its neighbors and the results of wars elsewhere, that 
it might keep peace with the stronger and have the option 
of making war on the weaker/ He appreciated the advan- 
tages of the virtues of military life, the lessons of discipline 
and courage.^ 

Aristotle commended the business of war only as a means 
to the final end of peace. ^ Those who brought on wars for 
selfish reasons or for the sake of war itself he called blood- 
thirsty villains.* In peace only was a proper development 
of virtue possible.** " The good lawgiver should inquire 
how states and races of men and communities may partici- 
pate in a good life and in the happiness which is attainable 
by them." « 

The great champion of Hellenic peace was the rhetoric- 
ian, Isocrates. He saw the dark side of the condition of 
Hellas, the endless wars, the wasting of lands, the enslave- 
ment of cities, the destruction of property, and the country 
full of exiles wandering and serving in armies for hire. 
Yet men saw fit to weep over the tales of calamity composed 
by the poets, and statesmen were so taken up with petty 
interests that they were not moved by the actual calamities 
of Greece.^ He saw peace treaties made which failed to 
settle the problem; eternal jealousies and hatreds which 
were never blotted out. 

* Aristotle, Rhetoric i, 4, 9 

* Id., Politics vii, 15, 3 ; Ethics iii, 6, 7. 
»/(/., Politics vii, 13. Ethics 1177 b. 
*/(/., Politics V, II, 10. 

^Ibid., vii, I, 14. 

* Ibid., vii, 2, 16 et seq. 

^ Isocrates, Panegyricus 167 et seq., Epist. ix, 4, Phil. 2. 


It is to no purpose that we make treaties of peace ; for we do 
not settle our wars but only defer them and wait for the time 
when we shall be able to inflict some irremediable injury on one 

He therefore attacked the war party in Athens vigorously. 
When they spoke of recovering lost property, he pointed out 
that war had taken away safety and prosperity and even the 
necessities of life, and had destroyed the good repute of 
Athens. He drew a comparison between the Thessalians 
rich in fertile and extensive lands yet reduced to want by 
never-ending wars, and the Megarians who had little or 
nothing to start with and yet by keeping peace with all had 
become the wealthiest among the Hellenes.^ He com- 
plained of the fact that, though the democracy had been 
overthrown in war, yet the people regarded the war party as 
the true democrats and the supporters of peace as oligarchs.^ 
He attacked the imperialistic treatment of the allies and the 
use of mercenary troops in defence of the empire.* Vic- 
tories such as the Spartans and the Thebans had gained 
contrary to right, with contempt for oaths and agreements, 
he regarded as more shameful and disgraceful than defeats 
suffered without cowardice. In the long run justice would 
prevail and right win over might.^ On the other hand, he 
declared that true prosperity was gained by peace founded 
on justice. For then followed freedom from wars, dangers 
and civil disturbances, increase in business, release from the 
burdens of war and the privilege of tilling the land, sailing 
the sea or engaging in any other occupation without fear. 

1 Isocrates, Panegyricus 172. 

^Id.y Peace 6, 117. 

3 Ihid., SI. 

*/</., Areop. 9; Phil. 96; Paneg. 185; Peace 47. 

^Id., Peace 136; Archidamus 34. 

527] ^^^ FOURTH CENTURY 133 

Then merchants and aliens flocked to Athens and revenues 
and income increased abundantly/ 

In common with all Greek thinkers, Isocrates believed in 
defensive war and in wars against oppression on behalf of 
liberty.^ He was proud of the record of Athens in this re- 
spect. " Not always is it to be considered glorious to fall 
in battle," he wrote Philip, " but it is worthy of praise when 
in defence of country, parents and children." * When there 
was danger that Thebes might secure a union of the Greeks 
and accomplish the destruction of Sparta, he wrote a pamph- 
let purporting to be a speech of Archidamus, the purpose of 
which was to arouse the Spartans and probably to suggest 
that Athens would not consent to such a project.* In this 
he qualified his pacific utterances by explaining that nothing 
was absolutely good or bad, and that war, though uncertain, 
might lead to prosperity as well as to loss.* He called upon 
the Spartans to remember that it was in war that distinc- 
tion and renown were won, and that it was better to ex- 
change a perishable body for imperishable fame than to 
purchase a few more years of life with cowardice and dis- 
grace.® For such a war he believed that preparedness was 
necessary. For the individual he prescribed, " a good gov- 
ernment, a life of self-control, and readiness to fight to the 
death against the foe." ^ His advice for the state he 
summed up in a Golden Rule for nations. " Be warlike as 
concerns knowledge of war and preparations for it, but 
peaceful in committing no unjust aggression. Let your in- 

1 Isocrates, Peace 25; Areop. 51. 

'M, Paneg. 75; Panath. 60. 

3 Id., Epist. ii, 4. 

*Id., Archidamus; cf. Meyer, op. cit., vol. v, p. 450. 

*/rf., Archidamus 49. 

^Ibid., 104, 107. 

^ Ibid. 59. 


tercourse with weaker states be such as you would require 
that of stronger states to be with you." ^ 

The solution which Isocrates had to offer for the difficul- 
ties of Hellas he presented through speeches to be delivered 
at the great festivals. The value of these gatherings he 
appreciated, and he praised their founders for giving to the 
Greeks a custom which led them to assemble together as 
Hellenes, to lay aside quarrels and to make treaties of 
peace. ^ Gorgias and Lysias had both urged a union of the 
Greeks for a war upon Persia. This proposition Isocrates 
developed in 380 B. C. in the Panegyricus,^ The first essen- 
tial of his scheme was a symmachia, an offensive alliance 
under a strong leader. Nominally he proposed a joint 
leadership of Athens and Sparta; actually the burden of the 
speech was the right of Athens to command and the unfit- 
ness of Sparta. It was probably a piece of propaganda to 
aid in making the second Athenian Confederacy an Hellenic 
League.* He recalled the glorious past of Athens, showed 
how the Athenians had stood in the forefront of battle in 
the defence of Hellas. He brought back to mind the peace 
and prosperity of the period of Athenian rule in the pre- 
ceding century and compared it with the great unhappiness 
caused by the Spartan empire. Idealizing the past, he 
painted what he hoped for the future. He acknowledged 
the wrongs done by Athens, but claimed that from her 
downfall as a result of them Athens had learned her lesson. 

The first necessity that he laid down was a sound demo- 
cratic government in Athens under the leadership of her 
best men, such a government as she had had in the days of 
the Persian wars. The leaders must then lay aside all jeal- 

1 Isocrates, Ad Nicorlem 24. 

2 Id., Paneg 43. 

'Kessler, Isokrates und die panhellenischc Idee (Berlin, 1911), p. 8. 
* Ibid., pp. 24 et seq. 

529] ^^^ FOURTH CENTURY 135 

ousy and greed and adopt a true Panhellenic policy in their 
administration of the state. ^ Furthermore, he called for 
righteous treatment of the allies, with no interference in 
their internal affairs by Athens except in defence of the 
democracy. Such a program he felt would bring all the 
Greeks willingly to the support of Athens. All the small 
states could count on protection from larger states, the sea 
would be freed from pirates and Hellas would be delivered 
from slavish homage to the Great King.^ 

The second essential of the alliance was a strong, bind- 
ing purpose. This the orator f oimd in the principle of the 
first Hellenic league war against Persia.^ Such a war he 
felt would be more like a sacred embassy than a campaign. 
It would bring peace at home for those who desired it; it 
would free the Asiatic Greeks from slavery; the homeless 
unfortunate would be given employment and a chance for 
a new start at the expense of the barbarians.* Of the suc- 
cess of such an expedition there was no room for doubt, as 
the march of the Ten Thousand had shown. *^ 

The plan was impossible of accomplishment, since Sparta 
entirely disregarded it. Agesilaus had made his own attempt 
at such an expedition and had not gained support. The 
second Athenian Confederacy was formed, and then failed 
because of the shortsightedness of the Athenian leaders. 
Still Isocrates did not despair. In the speech On the Peace, 
in 356, and in the Areopagitictis, in 355, he once again pre- 
sented the same arguments. Reform of the administration 
of Athens, the laying-aside of that overweening ambition 
which had again caused her downfall, the strict enforcement 

* Isocrates, Panegyrikos 76 et seq. 

^ Ibid^ 104 ; cf. Kessler, op, cit., pp. 12 et seq. 

' Isocrates, Paneg. 158. 

Ubid., 173. 

^Ibid., 182. 


of the terms of peace, which had ended the Social War, the 
grant of independence to the alHes, the discharge of all the 
mercenaries who had done so much to make Athens hated, 
the end of all cleruchies which plundered other states — ^these 
were the only things the orator felt that could restore 
Athens to her former high estate. Such reforms would be 
sufficient defence against Thebes, he argued, for then the 
other states would come flocking to the aid of Athens.^ 
But Athenian democracy could not be reformed and the 
Greek states had learned to distrust Athens, as Demosthenes 
found out. Thus the glorious dream of Isocrates failed of 

Isocrates had not trusted to Athens alone but had looked 
afield for a leader wherever he might find one. He appealed 
without response to Jason of Pherae, to Dionysius of Syra- 
cuse and to Archidamus of Sparta.^ In Philip of Macedon ^ 
he saw, not as did Demosthenes the man who would rule, but 
the man who would lead the Greeks. Philip, he believed, 
was descended from the great Panhellenic hero, Heracles ; he 
would not be involved in local quarrels or affected by jealous- 
ies, but would know all Hellas as his fatherland.* So to him 
Isocrates in his old age turned. He called upon him to form 
a friendly alliance of all the Greeks, to organize a coimcil in 
which the Greeks might deliberate under his presidency, and 
to lead them against Persia.** He felt that the attacks upon 
Philip amounted to nothing. But they persisted and war 
followed. In the midst of this Isocrates issued his Panathe- 
ncdctis, a eulogy of the glorious past of his native city, per- 
haps to make clear to Philip what a city it was that he was 

* Isocrates, Areopagiticus, passim'. Peace 19, 20, 44; 136-40; et, al. 
^Id., Phil. 119; Epist. i, ix. 
» Id., Phil. ; Epist ad Phil. 
4 Id., Phil. 127. 
*/&trf., 16. 


preparing to crush. Chaeronea was to him, not the death of 
Hellenic freedom, but the overthrow of a faction in Athens 
which made possible the consummation of his plan. Before 
the congress of Corinth met Isocrates had died. But that 
congress adopted his program : freedom and autonomy in all 
states with support of the democracy, peace and security at 
home, the end of wars, exiles and piracies, an alliance of the 
Greeks under Macedonian leadership and declaration of war 
on Persia.^ Unfortunately for the Greeks it was a peace 
forced from without. Liberty and autonomy were but 
names and with peace came stagnation. 

In the same year that Isocrates issued his speech on the 
peace an unknown writer wrote a treatise on the revenues 
of Athens.^ It was an effort to show the Athenians how 
they might regain the wealth and power they had lost. He 
felt that the first essential was peace. Those states he said 
were the most fortune- favored which had peace in longest 
season. It was in times of peace that all men flocked to 
Athens — the mariner, the merchant, the wealthy dealer in 
com and wine, the owner of many cattle, the banker, the 
artist, the artisan, the sophist, philosopher and poet and the 
pleasure-seeker, to add to the glory and wealth of the city. 
All the wealth that had been gained in times of peace was 
lavished in war, while the chief sources of revenue were 
themselves cut off. The method of prevention which the 
writer suggested was novel. Let the Athenians appoint a 
board to act as guardians of the peace, to settle disputes 
among the states, to see to it that Athens refrained from in- 
justice and to harmonize warring states and warring fac- 
tions in them; let the center of their endeavor be to pre- 
serve the independence of the Delphic shrine. Such a 

* Kessler, op, cit., pp. 6y et seq. ; pp. 73 et seq. 

* Xen., Poroi v. vi. This treatise is traditionally ascribed to Xenophon. 
On the date, cf. Schaefer, Demosthenes und seine Zeit (Leipzig, 1885), 
vol. i, p. 193. 


scheme, backed up by the sending of embassies throughout 
the length and breadth of Hellas, could not fail, he thought, 
to bring the Greeks flocking to the support of Athens/ 

All these efforts to secure peace among the Hellenes dur- 
ing the fourth century failed, as arbitration had failed in 
the preceding century. Though the Olympic priests refused 
to receive as gifts trophies won from war between Hel- 
lenes,^ religion was not strong enough to compass the end of 
such wars. Neither the arguments of the peace leaders nor 
the endeavors of the statesmen at the general conferences 
were of any avail. Occasional appeals to arbitration met 
with no response. Part of the answer to the question 
why may be found in the changed conditions of warfare. 
Though the development of trade and industry, the growth 
of individual appreciation of the finer things of life and of 
desire for ease and comfort, the general relaxation of the 
bonds by which the man was held to the state made peace 
seem more than ever desirable and the burdens of war more 
irksome and less to be borne, the nature of war itself had 
changed to meet these conditions. The surplus of population 
in the country districts of Arcadia and northwestern Greece 
and the great and increasing number of exiles furnished a 
body of men who were ready to remove the burden of in- 
dividual service from the citizens for a price. The growth 
of mercenary armies led to specialization in warfare and 
the formation of a professional military class. They fur- 
nished at one time a constant war party and an outlet for 
the duties of war.* The people could easily be stirred up to 
vote for a war in which they took little part. Since the 
mercenaries usually lived on the country in which they 
were fighting, the expense was less for the city which em- 

^Xen., Poroi v. 

2 Cf. Xen., Hell. iii. 2, 21. 

' Pickard-Cambridge, Demosthenes, pp. loi et seq. 

533] ^^^ FOURTH CENTURY 139 

ployed them. These circumstances account for the diffi- 
culty which Demosthenes encountered when he tried to get 
the Athenians to take part in the war with Philip and for 
the ease with which Philip won that war. 

The many conferences failed, the principles of freedom 
and autonomy were of no avail, because the position of 
weaker states was not permanently established with an 
organization for their protection. The very guarantor of 
their position was their most dangerous enemy. Accord- 
ingly they were forced into the arms of one or another of 
the more powerful states and their independence was lost. 
The same conditions prevailed with regard to the agree- 
ments to enforce peace. When the enforcement was left to 
the great states it opened tempting paths to self-aggrandize- 
ment; when left to several or all the states without com- 
pulsion, old jealousies and fears intervened and wars fol- 
lowed on the general line of previous divisions. Any state 
strong enough and covetous enough might break the peace 
with assurances of support, and hence comparative impun- 
ity. The only suggestion to establish a central organism 
was disregarded as foolish. ' 

In all of their agreements the Greeks failed because they 
did not face and settle the basic problems of interstate 
relations. No real effort was made to bridge the gap of 
distrust and misunderstanding between Athenian democracy 
and Spartan oligarchy. None of the states was willing to 
accept the diminution of pride and power necessary to 
establish a lasting compromise. Athens was never willing 
to give up her claims to power; Sparta felt that she could 
not part with her military system; Thebes would not sur- 
render her hopes for the hegemony of Greece. Whenever a 
settlement was near, some element of jealousy or of hatred, 
some fear of undue influence or interference, some unwill- 
ingness to yield the least jot, lest pride and prestige be in- 
jured, came up to wreck all hopes of lasting peace. 

k\'^: ■ :